Yesterday: Intentionally triggered (ski cut) several light density loose dry avalanches on relatively low angle N facing terrain. These avalanches were failing on the new/old snow interface, running far and fast, and were easy to manage and escape.
Today: Intentionally triggered (ski cut) several large loose avalanches on steep NW slopes above N. Soda Creek (10000ft) that ran fast, surprisingly far, and were much denser than yesterday. Also noted several large natural loose avalanches in the N Fork Soda drainage, S/SE aspect, running from 10200ft to creek bottom (approx. 1500ft).
Full sun with moderate to strong ridgetop winds from the SSW in the morning giving way to calm overcast skies and snowfall by mid/late afternoon. HN48 8-15″ depending on aspect and elevation.
In the Alpine: HS generally >200cm with HN 30-45cm sitting on a variety of surfaces depending on aspect. Most notable was a thick layer of graupel at the old/new interface in the aprons producing moderate sudden planar results (ECTP16 SP @ 45cm on graupel layer, 11800 NE aspect). Noted some melt-freeze/facet combos on solar aspects with easy to moderate results below Paradise bowl (CT12 SC @ 30cm below melt-freeze layer, 11000 ESE aspect). We did not observe any cracking or collapsing.
Witnessed multiple small wet loose avalanches in all the steep solar couloirs. One small slab ~40cm deep releasing on presumed graupel layer in the apron of the Breakfast Couloir, likely in past 12-24hrs. Numerous recent small shallow dry loose releasing on steep shaded aspects within the storm snow.
Great skiing on shaded aspects
Wind: Light in AM increasing to Moderate in PM
Sunny and clear with temps rising to near freezing at Tower by mid-afternoon. Dry Lake temps rose to 45F. Winds were calm in the AM and increasing to Moderate by the afternoon.
Small Loose Wet avalanches on solar aspects.
It’s been 6 days since we last received significant snow. The upper snowpack is well settled. No cracking or collapsing. Only recent activity we saw was small dry loose on on steep solar aspects off Buffalo Mtn.
Great skiing on cold North facing terrain above 9000ft
Ski Pen: 10-20cm
Foot Pen: 40cm
Sky: Mostly clear with a few clouds
Mostly bluebird with a few high clouds, temps in the teens, and a light breeze out of the NW.
#1 Small to large Persistent Slab possible on all asp and elev
#2 Wind Slab
Girly turns, SW, 9800, HS 250, 23*
Ski pen 10cm, boot pen 40cm
CT13 RP @30cm, CT19 RP @40cm
Thin melt-freeze layers @40cm & @105cm
Bruiser, NW, 9600, 32*, HS 250
Ski pen 20cm, boot pen 40cm
CT14 RC @20cm, CT17 RP @40cm, CT26 SP @80cm
Triggered a small wind drift at the top of Bruiser
Rick Chopper, NNW, 9600, 30*
CT16 SC @40cm
No cracking, no collapsing, no recent signs of activity
Supportable creamy ankle deep grade A pow
Ski Pen: 30cm
Foot Pen: 65cm
Wind: Mod W
Snow, graupel, freezing fog, moderate W winds, mild temps
Small to large storm slabs on all asp & elev
Snowfall starting mid morning and snowing through the day. Mod temps and wind creating dense storm slabs. Sluffing on steep N slopes. No cracking or collapsing. Easy CT results in the storm snow and mod resistant results in the top 35cm of the pack.
Good storm skiing in new terrain