Quiet And A Faceting Snowpack

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 12/20/2019
Name: Evan Ross & Zack Kinler
Subject: Quiet And A Faceting Snowpack
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 9,000ft to 11,500ft
Snowpack: Traveling through NE terrain showed no obvious signs to instability. We traveled on slopes in the mid to upper 30 degree range. It’s more difficult to find a pristine snowpack given all the natural avalanche events this year on NE slopes. So the majority of the time we were traveling on a slope that had avalanched at some point earlier this season. Even in some steep old growth forest.

The upper snowpack is loosing strength with the current cold and dry weather. A 1F slab still covered some mid-pack SH in one test profile. This interface was identifiable in the wall of the snow-pit, but difficult to get results on. Another test profile was dug below the crown of an avalanche that ran in early December. The HS here was about half 60cm, of the more average 120-130cm snowpack in that area. No SH was found in that 60cm of snow, and the slab over what was left of the facets at the ground was a poor example of strong over weak. So, also breaking down and faceting as a whole.