Date of Observation: 02/23/2017
Name: Zach Guy and Blase Reardon
Aspect: North East, East, South East
Elevation: 8,800 – 12,100 ft.
Avalanches: Skier triggered a D1 wind slab on a SE aspect NTL, about 12″ deep and 25 feet wide. Ran on yesterday’s crusty surface. SS-ASc-R1-D1-I
Weather: Blustery squalls. Strong W to NW winds, moderate snow transport at ridgetops. Cold temps. Overcast with periods of broken skies. S1 at times.
Snowpack: About 2″ of new snow. Drifts up to 12″ in wind-loaded features. The new snow fell on stout melt-freeze crusts on southerly aspects, and added to the building slab over the 2/17 near surface facets on northerly aspects. There was about 6″ of recent, soft snow over this facet layer in wind sheltered, northerly aspects, and not enough cohesion/slab to produce signs of instability in steep terrain. Cracking and small slabs observed at mid elevations in wind affected areas on this layer, up to 10″ deep or so. One pit on a wind-sheltered, northerly, mid-elevation slope produced an easy Q2, SP CT result on the 2/17 NSF about 6″ deep. There is a rain crust about 20″ deep that did not produce any fractures, and no obvious surface hoar layers found deeper in the pit.