Route & General Observations
Toured to 2500′ to inventory surface conditions, see how well the new snow was bonding to the old snow surface, and search for wind slabs. Also got in some good companion rescue practice.
No obvious signs of instability.
1230: 1000', 28 degrees F, calm wind, obscured skies, snowing <1 cm/hour
1500: 2500', temp not observed (Seattle Ridge temp 24 degrees F), calm wind, obscured skies, snowing ~1 cm/hour
1600: 1000', 31 degrees F, calm wind, obscured skies, snowing <1 cm/hour
~2" of new snow at the motorized lot and Tincan pullout. New snow increases to 4" at 2000'. New snow was consistently found sitting on intact February 5 buried surface hoar everywhere below ~2000'. Above 2000', February 5 buried surface hoar was difficult to find.
Below 2000' no slab was found in hand pits, but February 5 buried surface hoar was intact and widespread. Above 2000' wind compacted snow started to show up in hand pits, but was highly spatially variable.
We dug at 2530' on a SSE aspect in a wind loaded area where a 30cm F -> 1F wind slab was found sitting on 9mm BSH, assumed to be the Jan 21 BSH. The Jan 21 BSH was sitting on another 30cm of 1F snow, and below that were knife hard crusts. We did not dig below the crusts. We got ECTN15, ECTP25 (progressively), down 30cm on 9mm BSH. The BSH was highly spatially variable, and we were not able to find it consistently in pits that were several feet from each other.