Snow Surfaces Pre-Storm

CBAC CBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 03/03/2022
Name: Evan Ross

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Upper Slate River, many aspects between 9,600-11,300ft.

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: 1 loose wet avalanche on a west aspect above treeling. Otherwise nothing new and notable.

Weather: High clouds, hot temps, and calm wind.

Snowpack: The PSa problem felt stuborn with no obvious signs to instablity. Also no collapsing or obviouse signs to instablity traveling on the sunny half of the compass and in areas with a wet snowpack. I traveled on steep slopes, but not big slopes.

You have to get close to a north aspect to find a cold snow surface. Otherwise, the snow surfaces were wet. East and west aspects will have a notable crust, that crust will thicken of course as you head south around the compass. I didn’t find an area where water had drained to the February weak layer on east and west aspects, but there will still be a couple-inch thick crust on the current snow surface. Lots of water moving through the snowpack on SE to S to SW aspects and those will be locked up once they freeze again. This whole area looked like it would take a notable load before we see another widespread natural avalanche cycle. Mostly due to the thick crusts and the thick slabs, with the mid-February weak layer gaining some strength under those slabs over the last week.

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