Date of Observation: 01/01/2021
Name: Evan Ross
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Slate River
Aspect: North East
Weather: The clouds came and then went again. Calm winds. Nothing notable.
Snowpack: The snowpack in this area is really variable given all the past avalanche activity it has seen throughout December. So it’s hard to make a call on the general stability. We traveled more aggressively on steep slopes where we had high confidence there wasn’t a current persistent slab avalanche problem due to past activity. We kept it real conservative where the conditions were unknown or undisturbed. The 12/10 interface remained the primary layer of concern. The more recent 12/22 layer of facets was observable, but we didn’t encounter any particular concerns there.
We didn’t get much for direct feedback, or obvious signs to instability. A few collapses and some shooting cracks all took some effort to produce. Confidence in the snowpack structure, where undisturbed, still remains low.
The upper 10 to 15cm’s of the snowpack is losing strength. SH was also widespread all the way to ridgeline. The slab had broken down the most at lower elevations below about 10,000ft.