Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 12/13/2017
Name: Eric Murrow
Subject: Poverty Gulch to Richmond Mountain
Aspect: North, North East, East, West, North West
Elevation: 9,250 – 12,500
Weather: Morning started with few clouds/nearly clear and at 10am clouds rolled in and was overcast the rest of the day. Winds were well behaved with speeds of only about 5mph, infrequent questing up to about 10mph. At summit of Richmond winds were still very light out of the west. Overall pleasant day for a walk.
Snowpack: Most surfaces were either facets, faceting windboard, or a few crusts. Travel was generally quite supportive, making travel easy.
On the way up, we crossed many wind loaded pockets (still only around 70cm deep, N -E aspects) near and above treeline and had no collapsing or shooting cracks. Dug numerous quick hand pits in these deeper pockets; rarely found slab/weaklayer structure. Many of these deeper wind deposits were just supportive windboard over very weak F hardness facets. Had a hard time finding hazardous structure. Slab structure was very small in surface area and was discontinuous from rest of slope, even in areas with same surface conditions.
Ski conditions were mostly crap, but at least supportive. Here are a few photos showing snowcover over some of this terrain.