Rotting Slabs

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/08/2021
Name: Jack Caprio & Jared Berman
Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: Snodgrass to the east river
Aspect: North, North East, East
Elevation: <10,000′

Avalanches: None observed.

Weather: Clear, warm, and calm.

Snowpack: We traveled on primarily NE and E facing aspects up to about 10,000 feet. The lower in elevation we went, the less of a slab we found. Near the east river valley bottom, on a NE aspect, the snowpack consisted of about 50-70 cm of F hard cohesionless, faceted snow. Very weak. The only areas we were able to find a slab below 9,500′ was on isolated, exposed, ridgelines, where previous winds had drifted snow into a firmer slab about 5-20 cm thick.

A bit higher in elevation, still below treeline, we were able to find somewhat of a slab remaining on top of the 12/10 interface. That being said, the slab was 4F to F hardness, bottom to top, and seems to be losing strength as the days go on. A propagation saw test on the 12/10 interface produced an uninterrupted propagation to the end of the column. PST (29/100) End.

In the areas closer to town with a thinner snowpack, the persistent slab structure on shady aspects below treeline is becoming more difficult to find. With dry weather in the forecast after tomorrow, I expect the slabs to continue to rot away.