Date of Observation: 12/28/2020
Name: Zach Guy, Zach Kinler, Jack Caprio
Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: Gothic Road
Elevation: Below treeline
Avalanches: Intentionally triggered a couple of small persistent slabs, about 15″ thick and up to 50 feet wide on small terrain features, failing on fist hard facets near the ground.
Weather: Light snowfall mid-afternoon started picking up in intensity to S2 around 3:30 p.m as we were leaving. Calm winds.
Snowpack: About 3″ of new snow so far. Frequent rumbling collapses and shooting cracks traveling about 30 to 50 feet. Slabs were somewhat discontinuous across terrain due to previous wind loading and scouring effects. It was easy to trigger collapses in the transition from stiffer, supportive snow to unsupportive, softer snow or vice versa. Of the few test slopes we poked at, a couple slid, while most just cracked and slumped.
The 12/22 interface is down about 5″ (mix of near surface facets and surface hoar). It was producing cracking underfoot but not shooting past skis.