I'm bringing your attention to an instability in the snowpack in the Mores Creek Summit area that I thought was worth mentioning given that there is no official advisory for this region and Chago's blog has not been active lately. The instability is similar to that highlighted in the Payette Avalanche Advisory that rates the danger as Considerable:
We've had lots of surface hoar layers this winter, so it was only a matter of time before one of them reared their ugly head.
Yesterday I released a moderately large slab avalanche on a relatively low-angle, north-facing slope just north of Point 7408 (just north of Sunset Peak). Coordinates are approx. N 43.91196 W 115.64398. I felt it break beneath me and easily skied out of the way. One of my ski partners was in the safe zone to the left and the other had not entered the slope. We were skiing conservatively, knowing that an avalanche was possible given the collapsing and cracking we noticed while skinning up the slope. We chose not to ski the steeper slope in the area that we'd been hoping to ski, but instead were "testing" nearby slopes in the range of 25-32 degrees.
Bed surface was surface hoar that formed last week. Slab was a foot deep, composed of snow that fell on the weekend and yesterday. Slope angle at the start zone was measured in 3 places at 28, 30, and 32 degrees. Rather low angle for avalanches for sure, but not atypical of avalanches that run on surface hoar.
Here's my ski track above the crown:
View up from about half way down:
View down from about half way down:
We continued skiing down the slope with noticing any other instabilities. We decided to cut our tour short and head back to Winter Corner, where we didn't notice any collapsing or cracking during out skin up earlier in the morning. We skied 5 runs there without noticing any instabilities.
The avalanche occurred in an open meadow where the surface hoar layer was thick. We suspect the layer is sporadically present because no other instabilities were noted the rest of the day, and probably absent entirely under the trees. This layer will be a problem for weeks to come. The best we can hope for is warm temperatures and a big dump of new snow to crush the surface hoar. It's supposed to be quite warm over the next few days, with a modest amount of new snow over the weekend. My recommendation would be to skin up slopes you want to ski, keeping our eyes and ears open for collapses and cracks. Quick hand pits should show whether the layer is present.