Window Chute Snowpack Observation. 1.18.2017

Post snow pack observations - snowpits, avalanche activity, signs of instability.
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Joined: January 18th, 2017, 2:55 pm

Window Chute Snowpack Observation. 1.18.2017

Postby Nalmo » January 18th, 2017, 7:03 pm

In anticipation for the next storm cycle, here is a snowpack observation for higher North to Northwest aspects below the wind affected North Hardcore ridge.

The high pressure seemed to be moving out this morning and temperatures were holding below freezing up high.

The snow from the previous storm seems to have set up into a fairly solid slab and is interacting with an icy lens and also deeper facet formations. However, over the past week similar pits and analysis has shown consistently negative propagating results. This observation continued that trend. Based on these findings, the skiing in the chute below was nice non-wind affected softness.

Let's hope we get a dumping the next couple of days.

If anyone has recorded similar aspect and elevation pits, please compare to the diagram attached. It would be interesting to see if similar conditions existed elsewhere in the same aspects.

Posts: 174
Joined: November 9th, 2010, 9:07 pm

Re: Window Chute Snowpack Observation. 1.18.2017

Postby splitboarder » January 18th, 2017, 9:53 pm

Some obs for the day.

~NW winds were moving snow. And slabs were forming on ESE slopes.
Dug a pit in 30 degree terrain just above a rollover on ESE slope in snowslide canyon near 12000 ft. ECTN7 about 12cm down on a new soft windslab. We skied slope and it was fun. Within 2 hours most of our tracks from that descent were filled in from blowing snow.

Went to the top of a nice NW line off core ridge, at about 11600 ft.
This steep 40°+ slope has a nice little sneak in spot under cliffs where one can "fairly safely" dig a pit. The first ECT was dug way to close to the cliffs resulting in a column that was ultimately only 20 x 90cm (under the surface) because of a buried boulder surrounded by facets. ECTP24, failing near the two ice crusts about 43cm down. Sudden collapse. We took turns performing additional test where the snowpack was 180 to 200cm deep and appeared to be more representative of the slope overall.

CT12 Q3 at top of shallowest crust about 43cm down
ECTN12 at top of shallowest crust about 43cm down
ECTN11 at top of shallowest crust about 43cm down
PST 80/100 End at top of shallowest crust about 43cm down
PST 65/115 End below the deeper crust about 46cm down

The two crusts were only about 2 to 3 cm apart. We could not easily slide the blunt end of a saw between the two rain crusts, due to well bonded and irregular ice masses. Also the crusts were not nearly as strong as what we have been seeing. These were more like pencil to 1 finger+ hardness... not knife.

I was able to perform a great ski cut into a safe spot. No result. We skied slope. It was great.

There were waterfalls of wind blowing snow coming down the Cheshire Hourglass cliffs off the east face of Humphreys.

Saw some surface hoar but most or all of it was being destroyed by sun or wind. Did not see any forming in the northerly protected pockets.
Troy Marino is a splitboarder and on the KPAC board of directors.
KPAC Snow Summary.
Future Guidebook?!

Posts: 172
Joined: November 28th, 2010, 8:01 am

Re: Window Chute Snowpack Observation. 1.18.2017

Postby raisingarizona » January 19th, 2017, 11:08 am

What's the Window Chute?

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