Pre storm surface obs

CBAC CBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 02/20/2022
Name: Ben Pritchett

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Mt. Emmons, Redwell Tour

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: We pushed numerous Dry Loose avalanches in steep, north through east-facing wind-sheltered terrain below treeline. The couple of inches of settled recent snow seemed to prime these particular features, where they would collapse and run before I pushed on the steep part of a roll-over. It was almost like a close-proximity remote trigger Dry Loose avalanche – just an indication of how very weak the near-surface snow is going into this storm.
Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: 10-20 mph
Ridgeline Wind Direction: W
Wind Loading: None
Temperature: 20 F
Sky Cover: Few
Depth of Total Snow: 170 cm
Weather Description: Cool, breezy morning, but air temperatures were climbing quickly.
Snowpack: A grab-bag of faceted surfaces. Some were normal, mid-winter faceted surfaces, and others were outrageously weak.
The weakest snow we found was near and below treeline in wind-sheltered northeast and east-facing terrain. Here you can still trigger long-running Dry Loose avalanches, and the these slopes will become dangerous early this week as new snow totals reach around 8 or 10 inches.
Alpine northerly-facing terrain is covered in plenty of weak snow, but these slopes will take more load to grow dangerous.
Southerly-facing terrain is capped by a variety of faceted crusts.

Photos:

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