Facet crust sandwiches in Red Lady Bowl

CBACCBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 11/28/2022
Name: Zach Guy

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: Red Lady Bowl, traveled on east and southeast aspects to 12,000′.

Observed avalanche activity: No
Avalanches: Got a few shooting cracks up to 10′ and tiny wind slabs to pop (3″ thick) on freshly drifted rollovers NTL.
Weather: Overcast. Moderate winds with periods of light blowing snow. Saw a few small plumes on other peaks.
Snowpack: Targeting weak layer development on the sunny aspects. In summary, the crust/facet layers are very weak on east aspects and get progressively stronger as you turn toward due south.The stronger crusts are more likely to survive early loading but could fail later in the season as more weight stacks up.

The snowpack structure on east to southeast aspects is a stack of crusts with very weak 2mm facets between, with some grains near the ground up to 4mm. The crusts change from stronger, thicker, and supportive on skis on due Southeast to very thin, punchy, and collapsible on due East.   See pits.  The crusts also appear to get thinner at higher elevations. There is also a surprisingly well-developed layer of facets on top of the crusts (~1.5mm facets). However, today’s winds were blowing this layer away in the alpine start zone. I found it fairly frequently, but not everywhere, in more sheltered rollovers lower in the bowl.