Date of Observation: 01/17/2021
Name: Zach Guy
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: East Beckwith
Elevation: 10,000 – 11,600′
Weather: Light northwest winds. Partly to mostly cloudy.
Snowpack: We traveled on several steep east facing slopes near and above treeline without signs of instability. A lot of ski pole probing easily going to the ground indicated the persistent slab structure was mostly faceted away. We dug a test pit in a concave part of the bowl holding a deeper, denser snowpack. Despite an unnerving looking structure (see photo), tests produced non-propagating results. We chose to avoid this part of the bowl, regardless.
Last week’s winds did little to damage the weak snow surface here, apart from forming a thin windcrust above the facets at higher elevations. All elevations that we traveled on have a persistent weak layer continuous across the terrain (1-1.5mm, Fist hard). Meltfreeze crusts are on anything with a hint of south and grow thicker with southerly tilt. See photos and captions for details.