Location: Cement Creek Area
Date of Observation: 01/17/2019
Subject: Cement Creek Tour
Aspect: North, North West
Elevation: 9800-10200 feet
Weather: Clear in the morning becoming slightly over cast as the day went on. Wind was calm, picking up to a slight breeze around mid afternoon, coming out of the NW. Cold in the valley bottoms and warming with elevation gain, though the shaded northern aspects stayed pretty chilly all day.
Snowpack: By and large the snowpack was not supportive to Rando skis until just below 10000 feet, and then it was supportive only intermittently. Experienced one large collapse at just over 10000′. Could not see any shooting cracks but collapse was large and loud enough to startle me. Only other collapses of the day were at lower elevations. These were much smaller feeling and did not seem to propagate more than a few inches past my ski tips. Dug a pit at 10200′ on NNW aspect BTL. Snow depth 100cm. Upper 20cm was new storm snow. Below that was soft “slab” 4-finger to fist hardness, softening with depth. At ~40cm above ground level it became coarse grained sugar from there on down. Compression test produced failure @ 20 cm below snow surface after 8 taps from the wrist. Failed again at about 50 cm below snow surface after 5 taps from the elbow, though second failure did not really sheer on any kind of bed surface. It was more like the “slab” just sort of crumbled.