Like skinning in a sandbox

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains

Location: Hancock

Date of Observation: 11/30/2020

Name: Zach Guy

 

Subject: Like skinning in a sandbox

Aspect: North East, East, South West

Elevation: 9,600 – 12,400′

Avalanches:

None today.

Weather: Clear skies, mild temps, moderate westerly winds

Snowpack: We found good stability on steep terrain and noted plenty of weak layers on the snow surface for future problems. Several pits on NE aspects targeting persistent slab concerns were unreactive. In previously wind loaded areas(HS~90 cm), the basal facets show signs of being stronger, harder, and smaller grained now, and were also discontinous due to talus on the ground. In previously wind-scoured or shallow areas areas, the snowpack is quite weak (Fist hard, 1mm facets) but no slab. Snow surfaces consist of widespread .5mm near surface facets on northerly aspects, occasionally capped by a thin wind crust that produced clean shears and cracking. On southerly aspects, the surface is melt-freeze crusts of varying hardness with small grained facets above and/or below. It is hard to find a slope where there isn’t a PWL on the surface, except for the ones that have melted out to dirt. No signs of instability today on slopes up to 40 degrees.

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