Location: Cement Creek Area
Date of Observation: 12/27/2019
Name: Eric Murrow and Zach Kinler
Subject: Double Top
Aspect: North East, East, South East, South
Avalanches: We observed a couple of un-reported D1.5- D2 persistent slab avalanches on drifted east and northeast terrain near treeline. These likely failed on faceted snow near the ground during the mid-December storm cycle with crowns partially filled back in.
Weather: Broken to Overcast skies, winds calm in sheltered below treeline terrain while light S-SE winds were present at ridgeline. Snow showers with brief S2 rates adding up to 2″ throughout the tour. Temps warming from low teens to near 30F. (HST at 10,200′ @1:20pm was 5.5″/.6″SWE)
Snowpack: HS 60-100 cm in terrain traveled. Below treeline on E and SE aspects, shallow 4F-1F slabs are resting on 4F facets near the ground. This structure is much less concerning as slabs continue to lose strength. Moving around to South aspects, stacks of crusts with weak snow between present little avalanche hazard.
Ascending to drifted, near treeline locations on the eastern side of the compass we found thicker slabs up to 1F+ resting on 30 cm of old facets and depth hoar. Hard CT results and ECTX results demonstrate the stubborn nature of this structure with propagation occurring when whaling on the slab after standard loading steps. While it is getting harder to trigger, avalanches in this terrain have the potential to be large.