Date of Observation: 01/20/2016
Aspect: North East, East, South East
Avalanches: widespread natural and triggered storm instabilities, all just in the top storm layer. Widespread cracking on the skin track, and natural rippled cracking on all slopes at 35 degrees or so. On our last lap track around 1:30 pm as the rimed snow started to collect we encountered several natural events – am 8 inch storm slab, possibly triggered by a tree bomb, covered the skin track, running 100 feet or so. Pretty much any slope steep enough on this last lap had either slid or ripple cracked, all within the last 45 minutes. All just the top 6-8 inches, no stepping down. At the top of the skin track either we remote triggered or a natural released off the flank of schuykill above us, ENE aspect, maybe releasing from 11200 and running to the shelf at 10,500. Obvious crown ran more or less the full width of the face, but it was broken up , not sure if it all ran at the same time or not. Again just the top 8 inches or so, and ran as loose dry snow, deposition zone looked like sluff. R2D1 but ran with plenty of energy and would have taken you for a ride over cliffs into trees.
No other instabilities observed while skiing.
Widespread cracking on several slopes above the road on the sled ride back out, SW aspect.
Weather: s3 to s5 snow throughout the day, gaining in intensity and becoming more rimed in the afternoon. Gusty winds. Warm, maybe mid 20’s?
Snowpack: At 10,300 NE aspect at 2 pm measured 35cm new snow, but not sure how accurate that is, hard to differentiate between the past 24 hours and the previous 24. 48 hour snow total maybe 50cm? Ski pen 45cm boot pen crotch deep.