Avalanche Danger in Mono County


December 26, 2012

Jennifer Hansen, Public Information Officer


During the last series of storms to arrive in Mono County, a substantial amount of snow has fallen in the backcountry of Mono County. At times, the series of storms produced snowfall rates in excess of one inch per hour for twenty-four hours. Also, the accompanying winds with the storms provided for wind loading on the lee side of the mountains and ridge lines.

The early season snowfall has crystalized and formed an extremely smooth base for the new snow to rest upon. The recent heavy snowfall, high winds coupled with a smooth hard pack base has significantly increased the avalanche danger in the backcountry areas of Mono County.

Backcountry travel is NOT advised until the snowpack has settled and solidified. When traveling into the backcountry, please advise non-traveling friends and relatives with the following information:

1. Where are you going?
2. Who is going with you?
3. Does each member of the party have an Avalanche Beacon?
4. What time are you leaving?
5. What time do you expect to return?
6. Are you carrying a cell phone?
7. Where are you parking your vehicle for your journey?
8. Leave a legible note on the dash of your vehicle as to where you are going and your expected time of return.

These simple questions will help friends and family to decide to call for assistance, if the need arises. Also, the answers to these questions will assist Emergency Responders in their search effort, if the need arises.

For more information on snow conditions and avalanche warnings, contact the following organizations via their web page:

The Sierra Avalanche Center (www.sierraavalanchecenter.org)


National Weather Service Reno (www.wrh.noaa.gov/rev/avalanche)