Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 02/04/2020
Name: Evan Ross & Eric Murrow
Subject: Poverty Gulch
Aspect: North East, East, South East, South
Weather: Partly Cloudy for the AM hours, and increasing to mostly cloudy in the PM hours. Periods of S-. Calm winds became a consistent moderate from the west northwest. New snow was not visibly blowing off the high peaks, but constantly saltating and drifting near the snow surface. Eric climbed in his goggles because his cheeks were apparently cold.
Snowpack: The new snow accumulation was 8″ at 9,600ft in Poverty Gultch. Traveling higher in the terrain, of course, those measurements became more variable with drifting. Drifts 1 to 2ft thick were encountered on wind-loaded terrain. Surprisingly very little instability was found in that new snow or at the old snow surface. Still, managing wind-loaded terrain for new Wind Slabs was the most common problem. We did kick off a couple very small Wind Slabs and chose to travel around some wind-loaded terrain features. The new snow was further becoming thicker throughout the day with the continued wind.
The Persistent Slab problem was considered on one slope that had an ugly terrain trap, and more regularly on very steep slopes that looked to have variable snow coverage through rocky terrain. The new snow had made no change or increased concern for the Persistent Slab Issue. We need a good loading event to collapse recently formed crusts and wind-board or to stress more deeply buried weak layers.