Buff Pass – Summit Lake

Date

12/05/2020

Location

Day #

11

Ski Partners

Drew Hyde, Julie Grady

Route

Weather

HSN24

0"

HSN48

0"

Precip

Nil

Sky

Clear

Winds

Calm

Temps

40F @ noon (27F/41F)

Weather Forecast

Another gorgeous day, calm, clear, and mild temps rising above freezing levels.

Snowpack Observations

The snowpack on Buff is super shallow, faceted, and largely lacking slab properties. Did, however, manage to find a strong supportable 30-40cm thick mid-pack layer (4f-1f) on North-facing terrain just below treeline. Observed surface hoar developing, a 1cm+ melt-freeze layer buried 20cm down (solar aspects), and a thin surface zipper crust (solar aspects). No signs of activity, no cracking, no collapsing.

Hasty pit produced results on NNW 10,700′: HS 80cm, ECTP16 SC @ 70cm failing on basal facet layer

From CAIC:
“The snowpack continues to facet or weaken during this prolonged period of cold, clear weather. Most of the slabs have become unreactive and no longer pose an avalanche issue (why it’s not listed anymore). You may find some places on northeasterly-facing terrain where those slabs remain, confined to individual gullies or below-ridgeline drifts. If you get one to move, the avalanche will be small but likely push you into rocks. The faceting changes are fastest where the snowpack is shallow or already soft. You will find areas where the snowpack is completely faceted, and sugar-like snow. You could trigger loose avalanches on very steep slopes.”

Riding Quality

Found surprisingly good skiing on a supportable mid-pack layer with 20-25cm of settled storm surface snow. Didn’t hit anything all day

Photos

Click to enlarge

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