Mid January Obs

Post snow pack observations - snowpits, avalanche activity, signs of instability.
Kaptain Safe T
Posts: 315
Joined: October 30th, 2010, 8:57 am

Mid January Obs

Postby Kaptain Safe T » January 14th, 2015, 8:13 am

Had a look around yesterday 1-13-15. New snow from this cycle was 14" plus.....there was quite a bit of energy in the snowpack as the new snow settlement was occurring....things stabilizes by late afternoon....the greatest amount of energy observed were natural fractures on North to Northwest terrain above the 10,000' elevation. A bit of whoomping was also reported. South and Southwest aspects were settled down quite a bit once the sun got on them.....It is quite thin out there and Backcountry travel is still a gamble.....too many rockstacles and Logstacles......Patience is a virtue
Another 4 inches fell in the 24 hour cycle and the Agassiz Chair is open to the top for the first time yesterday....Deep Tuesday....should be Stellar today as well, no pun intended, ......Happy New Year

Kaptain Safe T
Posts: 315
Joined: October 30th, 2010, 8:57 am

Re: Mid January Obs

Postby Kaptain Safe T » January 17th, 2015, 4:58 pm

1-16-15 had a good look around yesterday and still observed whumping on the NW slopes. Warm temps in the sun with a variety of snow conditions....Still quite thin out there but if you tread gently you may be able to get a few turns in....Ready for the big one any week now.....surprisingly good cover with this cycle.....Surfs up

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

Re: Mid January Obs

Postby raisingarizona » January 18th, 2015, 11:06 am

A few of us went on a long tour yesterday.

We found lots of different conditions out there.

We skied below Core Ridge before skinning back up to the low saddle. The trees below the Cirque is an area that gets very cold and develops mucho faceted snow. We had a shit ton of whumpfing going on during our skin. One in particular scared the crap out of me. An area I'm estimating around 100 feet long and 50 feet wide collapsed under me and moved down slope several inches. Trees 75 feet down from me were shaking so violently that the snow and their branches was being shook off. After discussing this with friends we thought this was happening because of facet development in early season snow that sits against the ground and has a rain crust/ice layer on top of that. This of course is hidden under snow from the last two storms.

This was the scariest whumpfing I have ever experienced here and it has me on guard now. For me it was a major red flag.

splitboarder
Posts: 174
Joined: November 9th, 2010, 9:07 pm
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January 20th 2014 observations

Postby splitboarder » January 20th, 2015, 12:25 pm

January 20th 2014 observations
I heard some very minor collapsing on northerly slopes below treeline. Things seem to have settled and mostly stabilized since the earlier reports of collapsing and whoophing 2 to 4 days ago. Got some CT reactions from the bottoms of hard and soft wind-slabs and the bottoms of some frozen melt freeze crusts. But no good sliding surfaces were found in our tests... Q2-Q3, resistant planar and progressive compression. No propagation in ECT.

Still need to keep an eye on the persistent depth hoar.

30cm to 100cm or more seemed to be the norm near treeline. Still thin overall.

Overall seems fairly stable right now. But watch for the warming temperatures...

It is worth noting that many of the larger rock anchors are getting covered in the starting zones. More so than in recent years. Any new snow that comes may have less anchors to help stabilize the snowpack. This is not true for all zones, but it seems to be the case on Fremont, based on our views of the starting zones yesterday.
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