Date of Observation: 01/03/2022
Name: Eric Murrow
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Washington Gulch TH out to Baldy, ascended and descended south ridge.
Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: Phew….lots. In broad terms, many large to very large avalanches near and above treeline on the north half of the compass (many of these avalanches will be documented in another ob tomorrow). Only spotted a single avalanche below treeline on east slope near Purple Palace.
Weather: Clear skies with cold temperatures at valley bottom, but pleasant temps in the 20s near treeline. Light WSW winds with moderate gusts. Observed some continued snow transport around the range.
Snowpack: I largely snowmobiled around checking on snow depths. In the lower reaches of Washington Gulch I found around 175cm and near treeline on Baldy 260cm. I dug a single, deep profile near treeline on a southeast slope that was bare dirt prior to December. Test results indicated reasonable bonding between Santa Storm and the early December snow although the overlying slab is harder than the snow at the ground. There was no melt/freeze crust present in this profile location.