Date of Observation: 02/04/2016
Name: Zach Guy
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South West
Elevation: Below Treeline
Avalanches: Natural avalanche activity from 2/1 cycle dramatically decreased as we went up valley. Happy Chutes and Climax Chutes (E/NE N/BTL) almost all ran nearly full width, full track, some small trees snapped and debris close to Mike’s Mile. I visited these start zones before the storm and there was about 10″ of settled snow above a very weak Jan14th 1.5mm facet layer. Likely ran on that. SS-N-R3/4-D2/2.5-O. A few crowns visible on Schuykill Ridge (E/ NE BTL), D2s, and two large crowns in Redwell Basin (NE, N ATL). Several D2 Debris piles near Slate River Road from the south side of Anthracite Mesa, couldn’t see start zones (~SW aspects, BTL). One D1.5 crown on a SE aspect BTL near Pittsburg. Signs of early storm sluffing/storm slab action on Schuykill Ridge, and no crowns visible in Ruby Range from our valley vantage points.
Weather: High clouds increased and lowered through the day. Very light snowfall (S-1) by late PM. Cold temps. Light northwest valley winds.
Snowpack: Dug one pit in Upper Slate Area, NE aspect below treeline. Recent storm has settled into a 65cm slab, increasing from F hardness at surface to 4F at Jan 29 interface. There is a <1cm thick layer of fist hard 0.5 mm near surface facets with 2-3mm flattened surface hoar needles below the slab. This layer was not reactive in ECT. No signs of instability on our tour except a shallow pocket that was skier triggered on a rollover from recent wind drifting.