Persistent slab stirring awake below treeline

CBACCBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 02/23/2023
Name: Zach Guy

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: Rec tour on Mt. Emmons, below treeline northerly terrain up to 10,900′

Observed avalanche activity: No
Weather: Overcast, light winds in the trees. Light snowfall, with about 3″ since yesterday, bringing settled storm totals up to about a foot.
Snowpack: Skier triggered a large, rumbling collapse that failed on weak facets about 3′ deep. The collapse and shooting cracks wrapped from N to NE aspects around 10,850′ and would have produced a dangerous persistent slab avalanche on a steeper slope. This terrain has seen a fair number of skiers in the past month, and we skinned across the top of it yesterday without any signs of instability.  I suspect this slope had a relatively shallow and weaker snowpack through January due to previous avalanche activity and/or wind erosion from northerly winds.  Minimal cracking in the storm snow today while riding in wind protected terrain.