Route & General Observations
Alaska Avalanche School Level 1 Travel Day. Our class split up into 3 groups and my group toured up to ~3400′ on Marmot S Ridge from Mile 16 lot and skied back down. Variable snow conditions ranging from 4″+ thick wind slabs on SW and E aspects to 1-2″ of snow on melt freeze crust or bare melt freeze crust on S aspects. One shooting crack noted on a wind loaded SW aspect.
Obvious signs of instability
|Recent Avalanches?||No||Collapsing (Whumphing)?||No||Cracking (Shooting cracks)?||Yes|
One 5' shooting crack in a wind loaded area on a SW aspect
Variable snow surface conditions ranging from 4"+ thick wind slabs on SW and E aspects to 1-2" of snow on sun crust or bare sun crust on S and SE aspects. The sun crust ranged from breakable to firm and supportable. Note that as soon as we noted wind slabs underfoot we ventured off them due to reactive wind slabs yesterday. Wind slabs ranged from supportable to breakable. The wind slabs are likely thicker in many leeward locations.
No formal stability tests. The new settled snow or wind transported snow is either sitting on top of near surface facets on shaded aspects or on suncrusts ranging from 1-3" thick over facets.