Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Purple Ridge
Date of Observation: 12/09/2020
Name: Zach Kinler and Eric Murrow
Subject: Sun and Serotonin
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East
No new avalanches observed.
Weather: Brilliant. Cold in the valley, spring-like above the inversion with above freezing temps. Light westerly wind at ridge top. Whispy clouds moving in late in the afternoon.
Snowpack: Toured SE-E-N aspects enjoying the comfortable conditions while looking at surface conditions as we approach a loading event this weekend. East aspects were weakest in this area, as we have seen from other zones, with 15-20cm of large grain facets resting on weak crusts below 11k and a more supportive windboard/mid pack slab above 11K. Moving to North aspects above tree line, surface conditions reamin weak with 3cm of near-surface facets resting on a soft windboard which varied from 2cm to 10cm across the slope.
We got additional data from SE aspects which appear to be on the “naughtly list” as well. At 10,200′ a razor thin melt-freeze crust caps 15cm of faceted grains which are resting on a Pencil hard melt-freeze crust. This will provide an efficient weak layer/bed surface combination for future avalanches.