Detailed Observation

Date2020-02-22
LocationEastern Alaska Range
ObserverNick Janssen
AvalancheN

General Observations

Skied up red rock canyon road to rainbow basin. Climbed the pass to the ridge and to the summit of McCallum peak. Seemingly good, stable powder at all elevations on the north side of the pass. No whumfing in our 16 miles of traveling and no signs of recent slides. Possible shooting crack observed at around 5000 ft, but it looked very old. Hand pits revealed a significant amount of depth hoar, which is to be expected in this climate this time of year. Snow did not seem reactive or weak, but we did not run any quantitative tests. (We stayed on low angle terrain.) Snow on the McCallum (south) side of the pass was highly wind affected sastrugi and great for cramponing. We opted to ski back down the north side  to avoid the poor snow conditions on the upper part of the McCallum glacier. There is good powder in rainbow basin, but parties should exercise caution as wind and rapidly changing temperatures start to affect the snow pack.

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