Poking around, waiting for the snow

CBACCBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 03/09/2022
Name: Zach Kinler

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Slate River to Pittsburg, standard uptrack and descent on the rollers. 9,000 ft -10,600 ft.

Observed avalanche activity: No
Avalanches: No new avalanches were observed. Vis was poor so could not see into the surrounding terrain.
Weather: Overcast, temps in the 20s, very light snowfall throughout the tour with accumulation less than an inch. Just after 2:00 SW winds picked up and started knocking snow bombs off the trees below treeline. Moderate to heavy snow began to fall around 4:30.
Snowpack: HST only 4.5″ thus far with no instabilities seen in new snow. Traveling primarily on slopes facing E-N below treeline, I was targeting the mid-February weak layer sensitivity in spots that previously avalanched as well as in-tact slopes. The snowpack was very quiet with no collapsing or cracking in new snow or on Feb facet layer. Slopes that did not slide in late February have a slab just over 100cm thick, up to 1F+ hard, while a slope that slid had a much softer slab(F-4F-) and about half that thickness. Tests in both areas show stubborn results with hard propagation on full depth slopes and ECTN results on bed surface slopes where the slab is thinner and softer. The February facet layer is still soft(F hard) whether the slopes slid or not with a thin crust capping 2mm facets on the slopes that slid, these layers will be tested with more loading. Easy propagating results were observed in one pit on a NNE aspect where small facets were found at the 3/5 interface however no other signs of instability were observed on this layer. May be one to watch in the future on northerly slopes.