Detailed Observation

Date2019-12-17
LocationValdez
ObserverGareth Brown
AvalancheN

General Observations

Location: 54 Mile, Date: 12/17, Elevation: 1500′-5000′, Temp: 0F at the trailhead, 20°F at 4700′.  S-E aspects.  No Cracking, No Collapsing, No Avalanches.

Found widespread surface hoar up to 4 MM up to 3500′.  Above 3500,’ surface hoar was in isolated locations that were not exposed to wind.

Rice Mountain, 4700′, East aspect,  32° slope , 20° F Clear and Calm.  Pit results produced ECTN14 down 25 cms and ECTN22 down 50cms.   The 50 cm layer had a quality 2 shear consisting of a crust with facets on top.  Snowpack depth was 150cms.

The 50 cm layer will be important to watch for interior locations.  If we get the forecasted cold snap, this layer could continue to facet and lose strength.

The new surface hoar formation will be important to follow for the next snowfall, as this will create a poor bonding surface.

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