Detailed Observation

Date2020-03-20
LocationValdez
ObserverGareth Brown
AvalancheN

General Observations

3/20: Billy Mitchell up to 4400', west through north aspects, clear and calm.

Shooting Cracks: yes, but only in isolated locations where fresh wind slab was present, up to 10 feet long.    Collapsing: yes, between 2-3000' in areas exposed to outflow winds, a shallow snowpack existed.  In these areas poor structure was present in the top 60 cms, with a 10-20 cm 1 finger windslab down 30-40 cms resting on fist hard facets.  Avalanches: No.

Found a spatially variable snowpack from the tsaina canyon up to 4400'.  Below 2000' the snowpack was locked up in the morning, and would be changing to moist with diurnal temperature swings. From 2-3000' found a snowpack that ranged from very supportive and right sideup, to thin areas exposed to wind that had a 10-20 cm 1 finger slab buried 30 cms that was resting on 2mm+ developed buried near surface facets. Above 3000' found 5-10 cms of 4-1 finger wind slab in the gut of couloirs and 10-20 cms of fist hard faceted snow at the surface on protected panels.  Thin faceted areas were found near ridgelines and rock outcroppings.

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