Keep me anonymous if published
Location (general area)
Road conditions to area
spots of ice but mostly clear. 4wd or chains required
clear (no clouds)
Calm (smoke rises vertically)
Wind direction in degrees
Aspect in degrees
Boot/ Ski penetration
Activity, recent avalanches
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks. collapsing
Obvious avalanche path
ECTN 18 Q3 at 16" down on buried persistent layer of graupel
We Observed a fairly upright snowpack on the whole but two distinct storm slabs were present in the top 16" of snow. The latest storm deposited 7" of snow on a suncrust that had formed in between this weeks two storms. As one would expect we witnessed cracking and sloughing of this layer as we traveled across all aspects of terrain. Below we found a slightly consolidated slab of about 10", expectedly from the first storm of the week.
It was below this that we discovered a fairly substantial layer of graupel. This is the most concerning risk of the snowpack. We got the entire top 16" to go at ECT 18 but Q3 shear. The rest of the snowpack below was all substantially more dense with a fist hardness or greater.
As we skinned up above our first pit we observed collapsing and cracking locally beneath our skis on that buried layer of graupel. My biggest concern was the rapid warming of the day causing a fairly heavy load on the snowpack and getting that layer of graupel to fail.
Other observation were as expected. lots of pinwheels and point releases from rocks warming throughout the morning. The temp was well over 35 degrees by noon and there was a consistent stream of traffic still headed up the bowl.
Publish this observation
Yes I would like this observation Published