Flagstaff, Arizona - Backcountry of The San Francisco Peaks and Kachina Peaks Wilderness
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Our first significant storm of the season arrived this week - a bit earlier than usual in recent years. Without a significant base prior to this storm, hidden obstacles like rocks and logs will be your primary concern. Forecasted winds near and above treeline may create a wind slab problem on steep (>30°) isolated slopes near and above treeline. Expect things to start changing again midweek, as a Thanksgiving holiday storm may impact our area.
'Twas the witch of November come stealin'
The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashin'
This storm blessed us with early season pow, and reports suggest some skiable lines have opened in the backcountry. Getting to and from those lines will be hazardous on our rocky peaks - the base is only 24" at 10,800'. Should you make it out there, then watch for new windslabs developing on steep (>30°) isolated slopes near and above treeline.
Without a significant base prior to this storm, hidden obstacles like rocks and logs will be your primary concern. The Snowslide Canyon snotel (Inner Basin) at 9730' is reporting 12" of snow.
Forecasted winds may create wind slab problems on steep (>30°) isolated slopes near and above treeline. Any wind slab problems you encounter will likely have the ability to produce only small avalanches.
As the sun heats things up over the weekend, watch for small loose sluffs on steep sunny slopes. This problem will only create very small avalanches.