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Fremont Peak, Inner Basin, Dec 3, 2016

Posted: December 8th, 2016, 9:41 am
by splitboarder
Early season snowpack. Facets throughout above 10000'. Spent some time on the NE slopes of Fremont.

Little windskin down about 15 to 30 cm down, and on top of that very small amount of graupel and facets and recrystallizing powder (from the nov 27/28 storm). Found one spot where that graupel and new slow was reactive on top of the windskin. But with 6 other nearby tests could not reproduce that instability. No cracking, no collapsing. Lots of good anchors in the snowpack to mitigate that depth hoar, and that depth hoar was not super weak and yielding... at least for now...

Skied great, and opened it up for a few turns because it was nirvana, 25-30 degree riding. Did hit a rock but not fortunately not when I let it hang out.... :cry:

I do not recommend skiing anything over 30 degrees right now due to going too fast on thin snow with hidden rocks underneath. Snow is gonna get more and more faceted and unconsolidated (rotten) I think.... so facet sloughs could become a concern in steep terrain, but me thinks one should not be skiing that steep in this thin snow.... wonder if there are any new windslabs after those moderate and strong SW winds on Dec 6th ish? .... Well this Dec 8th email that I just got from D Spice answers that:
Above treeline areas are widely wind affected with loading along ridgelines and cross loading, and significant wind hardening. Having experienced strong nnw and sw into the 60's, there has been a plethora of transport.

hope we get a big dump before the New Year, but it may be falling on a very faceted and slaby/crusty snowpack.

Pit data. Dec 3rd.

Faceting/recrystallizing snow for the top 6 to 12" of snow. Yummy riding, but what does it mean for the future? :roll:

Small sloughs on more easterly sunny slopes.

Note that we saw tracks from a one or two person group, who earlier in the week had skinned/hiked up the telemark path then parked their changeover spot right in a shallow terrain trap, where telemark avalanche path and a steep side avalanche chute spill into. :? Not a good idea. I need better partners to call me out on my bad decisions, and so does the party that was up before us.

KPAC does offer avalanche courses. hopefully we get more snow and can run those courses.