Date of Observation: 12/20/2021
Name: Zach Guy
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Traveled on E to S to SW aspects to 12,500 ft in Poverty Gulch
Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: A handful of D1s off of Mineral Point from the past few days on both south and east aspects. Some were point releases, at least one looked like a small wind slab.
Weather: Mild, sunny, light winds.
Snowpack: Checking on snow surfaces near and above treeline before the next storm. In general, they weren’t overly alarming in this area, as far as long-lived persistent weak layers go. The snow surface is settling and slightly textured by wind around the compass. There are some very small facets developing on the surface that could be an issue in the short term. The most developed facets at the surface, up to 1mm in size, were in shallow areas: areas that were recently scoured close to the ground by wind, or on old bed surfaces on shady aspects. So it seems persistent instabilities on repeat offenders will be at play out here. The snow surface became slightly moist above treeline on south aspects and got wet below treeline on the southern quadrant. Snow depths are around 2 meters at 11,000 ft. No signs of instability all day.