… ❗ be careful out there today (friday 21st). I’ve been out a couple times this week and have seen several large slides around the Crystal Mountain area. Weak layer under with lots of spots wind loaded. ❗
-(maybe this should go in avy discussion)Thursday Dec 19, we dug a pit out there on a SW aspect all the way down to the ground. The slope was approx. 20 degrees and at an elevation of 5800 ft. About 160-170 cm of accumulation…About 2/3 the way down there is a very distinct layer approx. 1 ft. deep of very rotten unconsolidated sugar snow. We were surprised to see many holes in this layer, some larger than a fist. The shovel shear test wasn’t as conclusive as the rutschblock test where the upper three feet collapsed on the first jump. the weak layer sits on top of about a foot of semi consolidated sugar snow that’s obviously gone through a few melt/freeze cycles. I’ll post some links of the videos taken when they get posted. One interesting thing was that the snow seemed very stable on the ascent with no shooting cracks or whoomping. One might get the impression that this is a stable snowpack if not for the 6 avy deaths in the last 3 weeks in the Washington Cascades
…. lots of activity around the NW the last couple of weeks. Rain and snow one day, none the next, warmer temps then lots of snow. Crazy unstable. I wanted to let all know about what I observed. Damn man, your everywhere on the westcoast?
I promised not to spill the beans because my partners are going back up in the same area over the next few days. local protectionism? savvy powder secretism? i don’t know, but I have to respect the wishes of my guides. it’s around Crystal Mtn. though. non lift access.
Hey, I like the idea to post video of field tests. The Forest Service Avalanche Center in Montana actually does the same thing, and its awesome to be able to see this. Sorry to rag, and I know you had a disclaimer in the beginning of the video. This is for all who saw this and don’t know any better, because of some potentially serious implications. Check out this site http://www.avalanche.org/~nac/slideguide/new_slides/compression.html for specifics about tests. The Shovel Shear is a test is one that should only be done with its own column, not after a compression test has already taken place on the same one. Doing so will alter your results dramatically. For a Compression Test, start with 10 taps from the wrist, then 10 from the elbow, then 10 from the shoulder with a straight arm. Alright, thats enough, Cheers.
It’s cool, man…as I was doing that test I was saying to homeboy how it wasn’t the real deal, but the camera got taken out and there you have it. I’m glad you brought up those points though…i gotta say that any test is better than no test in the avy game. I think we were just so certain on which layer it would slide that we kinda fudged it. I also really need to get a saw. sometimes shovels just don’t cut it. have a great season everyone