Route & General Observations
Normal route up West ridge to 3100′
Recent winds have moved loose snow around in upper elevations. Temps increased to above freezing at lower elevations. No other obvious signs observed.
Temps increased from 21F at the road at 10:30am to 32F by 3:30pm
Winds were light from the East
Skies were broken in the morning becoming overcast in the afternoon
3-4" of loose settled snow below 2500'
Variable surfaces above 2500': soft sastrugi, 6-10" wind drifted snow, and wind exposed crust covering ground
Tenderfoot has a thin snowpack. Height of snow gradually increased with elevation from 6" in lower meadow to 15" in wind near ridgetop. Facets and crusts were consistent above 2000' into the alpine. Hand pits in wind loaded areas failed easily on facets. In more wind scoured areas along the wind swept ridge a melt-freeze crust was exposed and covers the ground evenly.
1400': 3-4" of settled loose snow on ground from Monday (12/3/18)
2000': Facets under a deteriorating melt freeze crust with 4" loose snow on surface (HS=8")
2500': Facet under a breakable melt freeze crust and soft wind slabs 4-8" thick (HS=10")
3000': HS = 15" A mix of facets and breakable melt freeze crusts. 2mm facets near the ground were chained and falling out of pit wall. See pit photo below. In this location there wasn't much of a slab to perform any tests, but there was a thin rime crust with graupel just below the surface.
*A poor foundation exists above 2000' in this area. It will be important to pay attention to changing weather and how much new snow Summit receives over the next week. The avalanche hazard could increase considerably with a load.