Date of Observation: 03/22/2022
Name: Zach Guy
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Baxter Basin. Traveled on NW to NE aspects to 11,800 ft.
Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: Ski cut a handful of tiny wind slabs and one that was large enough to take you for a ride (6″ thick, 30 ft wide, D1 in size) in a cross-loaded NW facing chute.
Weather: Scattered clouds. Unseasonably cool temps. Light to moderate north winds where we traveled. Could see periods of blowing snow off of the high peaks.
Snowpack: Stability tests on a NW facing below treeline slope were unreactive on the dryspell layer, buried about 4 feet deep here. At this deeper location, the layer shows significant signs of rounding and strengthening compared to shallower parts of our forecast area. It was about .7mm in size and 1F hard under a pencil hard slab.
Fresh drifts from last night’s northerly winds were scattered about, ranging from a few inches thick to about a foot thick, 4F to 1F hard. It was easy to produce shooting cracks or localized collapses in the thicker or denser drifts.