Detailed Observation

ObserverErik Stevens

General Observations

Observations from upper West Nadahini glacier area. Calm winds, sunshine, thin high clouds, temperatures in the 20's F. N aspect at  5600ft: New snow about 6" deep sitting over stiff wind slab with moderately weak facets underneath (See pit profile graphic). Surface forms were precip particles/dendrites. Surface snow was low density, loose, not slabby anywhere we traveled this day. We stayed in areas of deep snowpack and pole probing found uniform conditions in the upper snowpack on a variety of aspects. We were suspicious we might find areas of buried surface hoar 15-30cm down, but didn't find it on the specific slopes we skied (both N and SW aspects at 5600ft). Felt comfortable skiing managable 35-degree slopes with a deep, uniform snowpack that had been well tested by several snowmachines. On the flip side, observed 3 medium-sized (D2) natural slides within the new storm snow on steep, wind loaded southerly aspects. Crowns were about a foot deep. Given this we were NOT comfortable venturing onto large, wind loaded slopes with high-consequence terrain. Skiing was great!

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