Name: Zach Guy
Title: Slate River Valley and Poverty Gulch
Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 01/09/2015
Aspect: North East, East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: up to 12,500 ft.
Avalanches: Same wet loose cycle here from several days ago, mostly N/BTL on southern half, some cleaning out to the ground. One recent skier triggered persistent slab in the lower rollers of eastern part of Schuykill, NE aspect BTL. Triggered sometime in the last 4 days, looked to be 2 feet deep and 150 feet wide. It was on a relatively small terrain feature thus small in size. SS-AS-R2-D1.5-O. Lots of similar naturals in the same area that were quite a bit older. Also saw a handful of old, persistent slab avalanches on Northwest aspects above treeline on the windward side of Ruby Divide.
Weather: Light westerly winds. Clear. Warm.
Snowpack: Observed the current dry-spell interface on ATL slopes. Roughly half of terrain has ripples and scallops from wind affects, the other half is smooth. SE to S to SW has undergone a few days of melt-freeze cycles but preserved the older wind texture, and a fair amount of steep terrain has rollerballs. Meltfreeze crusts were thin to 2″ thick. About 10% of terrain has small surface hoar, generally in sheltered, shaded pockets, sitting on smooth windcrusts. Swaths of soft, rippeled near surface facets exist between firm wind board and wind crusts. Without a map of micro terrain wind affects, its pretty difficult to generalize a pattern for PWL and non-PWL distribution, and will make for challenging slope to slope comparisons if this interface becomes problematic. Looks alot like our late January interface last year.