Date of Observation: 10/27/2021
Name: Zach Guy
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Emerald Bowl. Traveled on E and NE aspects to 11,800′
Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: A natural cycle of avalanches, D1 to D2 in size, came off of Baldy’s Emerald Bowl sometime in the past 12 hours. Likely wind slabs, although the start zones were already blown smooth again. Also a small windslab ran today on Bellview.
Weather: Cold and blustery. Moderate to strong northwest winds were actively transporting snow all day at all elevations. Mostly cloudy skies with a few light snow showers.
Snowpack: Several red flags pointed towards dangerous conditions at upper elevations today: fresh naturals, active windloading, storm totals approaching 12″, and shooting cracks in wind drifted slopes. Drifts were generally 2 to 3′ thick, up to 4F hard. In windsheltered(ish) terrain, I did not see evidence of storm slab instabilities; no cracking, and no unstable test results. The 8″ to 12″ of storm snow was fist hard, right-side-up on top of fist hard, 1mm facets (NE aspects) or crust/facet sandwiches or just homogenous crusts (East aspects).