Date of Observation: 12/24/2020
Name: Joey Carpenter
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Aspect: South, South West, West, North West
Avalanches: Repeater path on purple ridge, Natural (photo from SL)
Saw another large D2 sized natural on the E facing ridge near Angel Pass. We were very far away, no photo.
Weather: Clear and cold in the morning. Temps were around zero at the TH at 900 and made it into the mid twenties by 2p. Wind was calm overall in areas we traveled but large plumes from Northerly winds were transporting large amounts of snow above the S Baldy bowl for much of the morning. NTL and ATL terrain that has any western tilt has been ravaged by the wind event on 12/22. Even relatively sheltered terrain in the Western compass has seen significant impact from wind in this area.
Snowpack: Cracking and collapsing are the world we live in. The snowpack is very weak, encouraging us to be exceptionally careful. The difference today, from the past two weeks, is the feedback is less predictable, less consistent, and larger. Collapses that would’ve propagated short distances two weeks ago are now impacting much larger swaths of the snowpack as slabs stiffen. The most notable of the 30+ collapses we got today was on a lap track that we’d traveled on earlier in the day. We got 3 large collapses with accompanying cracks on slopes approaching 30 degrees in an area that had already been impacted by skier weight twice.