Date of Observation: 01/28/2022
Name: Zach Guy and Jack Caprio
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Schuykill Peak. Traveled on NE to E to S aspects to 12,100 ft.
Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: Triggered a handful of shallow sluffs and shallow wind slabs, all harmless in size (D1 or less). See photos of a few of the larger recent avalanches that we spotted involving surface instabilities.
Weather: Another beautiful day above the inversion. Calm winds. Clear skies.
Snowpack: Isolated pockets of drifted snow from 2″ to 5″ thick were reactive on cross-drifted northerly aspects where fresh drifting formed over faceted snow. These were all completely harmless by themselves, but in terrain where they could entrain loose snow below, they could grow large enough to knock you over. Wind slabs were easy to identify because the snow surface became noticeably stiffer and grabbier than all the facet pow skiing.
Sluffing gouged into older faceted snow in shallow areas such as near rocks and very steep terrain. Everything we triggered was D1 in size.
Southerly aspects had a dusting of snow on a thick crust that was supportive to boot pen. Crampons were nice for steep southerlies.