Detailed Observation

Date2019-12-20
LocationValdez
ObserverGareth Brown
AvalancheN

General Observations

Small Creek up to 2700′. 10° F, Clear, Strong NE wind.

Found a thin faceted snowpack below 2000′ with surface snow unaffected by wind.  Above 2000′ winds were strong out of the NE and had stripped the snow down to the 12/9 rain crust on north and east aspects, but was not able to scour into deeper layers . On west aspects found 6-18 inches of 1 finger windslab.   Wind slab was reactive to triggers on test slopes.  The 12/9 rain crust has begun to facet, and is losing strength at this location.

In upper elevations were there is no 12/9 rain crust there is more snow available for transport.  Deeper wind slab will be present that will have the potential to create larger, more destructive avalanches.

Picture of test slope west aspect, that produced small wind slab avalanche.

Uploaded Images