Weak snow around the compass in the shallow snowpack of the donut hole

CBACCBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 12/21/2021
Name: Zach Guy

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: Various aspects below treeline on Mt. Crested Butte, 9500 to 10500 ft.

Observed avalanche activity: No
Snowpack: The snow from December storms has faceted into .7 to .1 mm, fist hard facets on all aspects. This layer is uniform and about 25 to 30 cm thick on East to North to West aspects, and sits over larger depth hoar grains (12/6 layer) on NE to NW aspects. On southerly aspects, the facets surround or are capped by one or two melt-freeze crusts. On steep, due south, the crust is >10 cm thick and generally goes to or near to the ground; lower angled south has a crust/facet sandwich. On SE and SW aspects, the surface crust thins towards a fragile, soft crust that is <1cm thick. Long story short, there are concerning persistent weak layers at the snow surface on all but due south BTL here…this will be the 12/23 interface. This layer isn’t as large-grained and fragile as the 12/6 layer, but it will certainly cause issues, and it spans more terrain than the 12/6 layer.  This layer is also noticeably weaker and better developed in the shallow snowpacks (SE Mtns) than in our deeper snowpacks (NW Mtns), and also weaker on bed surfaces from the last cycle.