Route & General Observations
Toured back towards Big Chief & climbed the East Ridge. There was a skin track from skiers who had been there this past weekend but by around 3500’ the skin track had been completely filled in by wind. On a south aspect at 3500’ we dug a pit to the ground (about a 4′ of snow); no weak layers were found. Higher up on the wind-scoured East ridge we found raised tracks left over from weekend visitors.
From the top we dropped North down onto the face. Parter descended roughly 4-500’ but stopped after discovering a wind slab above a steep rollover (around 4200’). A hasty pit revealed a thin snow pack (18”) on top of of depth hoar. He then booted back up the run. We then descended the East Ridge. When ski cutting our skin track I was able to knock chunk of windslab loose that were about 4-6” thick – but there was no energy / propagation in the snowpack.
During the day we had clear skies, light winds and warm temps (mid 20s).
Note: for approximately 12 hours between 9pm 12/7 and 9am on 12/8 the wind blew an average of 20mph ENE with gusts up to 46 reported on Sunburst.
Wind affected snow and lots of rime ice on the ridge above 3500'. 6-8" of soft snow below 3500'.