Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/12/2019
Name: Eric Murrow
Subject: Keebler Pass area obs
Aspect: North East, East, South East, South
Elevation: 9,500 – 11,250
There were a few spots that looked to have avalanched early during that last storm but refilled to the point of uncertainty. These locations are very steep rollovers on ENE aspects that were likely shallow from previous avalanching earlier in the season. A few wet roller balls on SE and S aspects near treeline but entrained no mass.
Weather: Mostly overcast skies with occasional peekaboo by the sun. Mild air temps below freezing with very calm winds. Very light snow during the day with close to two inches new from past 2 days of light snow.
Snowpack: Travelled through a bunch of NE, E , SE and S terrain that has seen little to no traffic this winter. We stomped and jumped around on a bunch on rollovers and did not get a single collapse all day. HS on NE and E terrain ranged from around 120cm below treeline up to 150cm near treeline. SE and S slopes we crossed were around 70cm below treeline and 90cm near treeline (all locations lacked any wind loading ).
S and SE slopes below treeline consisted largely of 3 to 4 facet crusts combos with little concern with current structure (add wind drifting and you might find otherwise). Below the 2 inches of new snow was a 2cm breaker crust.
We dug a test profile on a NE slope below treeline at 10,000′ and found a snowpack structure that did not inspire confidence but did not produce concerning test results. We found weak snow at the base of the last storm, the mid-December weak layer, and basal junk. See photo below. We skied steep slope nearby with a clean run out and only produced small shallow sluffs. Snowpack was very supportive and surfy with skis on with ski pen around 6 to 8 inches.
A second profile was dug at 11,250′ on an east aspect and we found a similar structure. HS jumped up a bit to around 150cm. Same story here, slabs and weak layers, but no concerning test results, but not a confidence inspiring structure. See photo below.