Date of Observation: 01/22/2021
Name: Zach Guy
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Mt. Axtell
Aspect: North, North East
Elevation: 9,400 – 11,800′
Avalanches: On a north aspect near treeline, we skier triggered a facet sluff that entrained the entire snowpack to the ground. It ran about 1,000 vertical feet, D1.5 in size. The sluff “stepped up” once it encountered hard, wind affected snow in a tight gulley.
Weather: Light snowfall through the day, about an inch of accumulation. Calm winds.
Snowpack: About 3″ to 4″ of low-density snow on the 1/19 interface. The rest of the snowpack is basically all fist hard facets. In a steep, open start zone near treeline, ski pen is to the ground, knee to thigh deep facets. The 1/19 snow surface abruptly changed to pencil hard where previous winds had concentrated into a tight gulley and stiffened the snow.