Date of Observation: 12/29/2015
Name: Evan Ross
Aspect: North East, South East, South
Weather: Occasional light snow flurries, mostly cloudy sky, calm wind.
South, Southeast BTL
Due south slopes had a nice 1-2cm crust at the surface on slopes generally over 25 degrees, while these crusts started to fade as you moved to southeast slopes. BTL, the snowpack consisted of the Christmas storm snow sitting on the ground. Around 10,300ft and above, this same storm snow was sitting on a variable soft crust just above the ground, surrounded by facets. Here HS was about 50cm and one column test produced a CT4, sudden but irregular fracture. This snowpack structure looked concerning but was variable and inconsistent across the slope. We traveled on these slopes for a long time at about 35degrees with no other obvious instabilities observed. Also, didn’t observe any structure at NTL south or southeast start zones.
Observed widespread old natural avalanches in start zones spanning east to north. After a short tour across a few avalanche paths, it seemed some 80% of avalanche terrain had already released down to the facets near the ground during the last cycle. Most of the hang fire that was left had already cracked and buckled. We traveled across a few pieces of hang fire where the structure remand very concerning, while the avalanche problem felt very stubborn. Only one collapse was observed while in these areas. Just below a crown at 12,300ft the HS was about 45cm with about 35-40cm of that as unconsolidated new snow that would have fallen during the later half of the Christmas Storm.