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Location (general area)
Road conditions to area
clear (no clouds)
Light (1-16mph Flags/twigs in motion)
Wind direction in degrees
from NE in am, S in pm
Boot/ Ski penetration
Activity, recent avalanches
ECT16 propagated across entire ECT block - Q2 failure
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks. collapsing
Obvious avalanche path
Aspect: East. 8200 feet.
Total snowpack depth: 75cm
Top 10cm is fist hardness powder
Next 20cm is two finger hardness powder
Next is a 3cm layer of rain crust.
Next is a 3cm layer of very low density hoar.
Bottom 40cm is a cohesive, dense block going all the way to the ground.
It appears the storm started off pretty warm and gradually cooled. The first snow over the old rain crust is quite dense and is well bonded.
The powder is consolidating into a slab and is bonding pretty well to the rain crust. I was only able to get a Q3 very ragged failure at this boundary, but. . .
Below the rain crust is a very poorly bonded hoar layer that failed my shear propagation test on ECT16 and propagated across the entire ECT block. The top 35cm slab slipped forward a centimeter on my 30 degree test slope and stopped. When I coaxed it it came off very cleanly with a very smooth but not rapid Q2 release.
Despite the coldness of the storm, the new snow was slabbing up rapidly and I was easily able to lift chunks of the new snow off the rain crust below. I believe that once the new snow sets up into a cohesive slab tomorrow or the next day, we may have the potential for slab avalanches on E aspects at both the top and bottom of the 3cm rain crust.
On a good note, the depth hoar at ground level is gone and the test block was well rooted to the dirt and rocks below.
Other observations: Very icy roads in the morning. Snow dusted the mountains down to about 2500’. Extensive sloughing on steep couloirs at ~6500’. NW wind swept slopes all day today but snow was carried into the air and was not heavily deposited on lee slopes. New snow was very dry and squeaky under foot. Did not compact even along main trail. Lots of surface hoar on S facing slopes at 9am.
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