Ride the sunny side

CBACCBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 12/12/2021
Name: Zach Guy

Zone: Southeast/Northwest Mountains boundary
Route Description: Mount Emmons. Traveled mostly on S and SE aspects to 12,400′

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: Adding a pile of previously undocumented naturals to the list from the recent cycle that fit the pattern of what we’ve been observing, see photos and details below. Most of the northeast side of Red Lady Bowl appeared to run and there were a handful of wind slabs that ran on the southeast portion of the bowl. I didn’t see any fresh avalanches from the past 24 hours.
Weather: Sunny, clear. Winds were strong enough to blow my #tired hat off my head, but luckily I retrieved it. Snow transport continues above treeline in exposed locations.
Snowpack: Our field objective today was to assess if the persistent slab problem should expand to the sunny aspects that held a crust (rather than dirt) before the storm. In short, I didn’t find evidence of persisting issues on the 12/6 crust where it is stout on sunny aspects. In a pit on a SE aspect NTL, long column tests produced no concerning results on the crust. The crust is pencil hard and goes to the ground where we dug. Above the crust, there are .3 to .5 mm rounding facets, 4F- (the 12/8 layer).
We traveled mostly on sunny slopes that were dirt before the storm with no signs of instability. As soon as we scooted into some low angle, shady terrain below treeline, we started getting collapses that would radiate to the nearest cluster of trees. These same slopes are developing small grained surface hoar and near-surface facets on the snow surface right now. Kicked at a few recent drifts at higher elevations with minimal cracking.