Date of Observation: 01/01/2021
Name: Eric Murrow, Zach Kinler, Zach Guy
Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: Upper Cement Creek
Aspect: North East, East, West
Elevation: Near and below treeline to 11,800′
Avalanches: This area got about 6″ of snow from Monday night’s storm and we saw limited evidence of natural activity from storm. A few D1 to 1.5s on easterly aspects. No avalanches triggered today.
Weather: Increasing clouds, a snowflake or two, light winds.
Snowpack: In Lower Cement, the persistent slab structure is poorly developed without enough snow to make a slab. As we gained elevation further up the basin (around 10,000′ near Block and Tackle trail), we started noticing shooting cracks and collapses. The slab is soft and a foot thick over fist hard depth hoar (3-4mm). The snow surface and slab are faceting. In less sheltered areas, there is a pencil hard wind crust near the 12/10 layer helping making for a drastic hardness change near the bottom of the slab. We experienced shooting cracks on both westerly and easterly aspects. In more wind affected areas, the collapses were localized to just drifted areas. We traveled adjacent to a few steep slopes and got them to collapse and crack remotely, but not avalanche. We also got repeatable ECTPV results on the 12/10 layer in a pit on a NE aspect NTL.