We skied in Kern Creek today. We had one large collapse. It was down low at
1200′, on a S aspect, 30 degree slope. The collapse was on the surface hoar that
was buried Jan 22. In this location there is ~35 cm of snow above that surface
hoar. We noted that in several hand shear pits the surface hoar seemed to be
decomposing and the bonding across that layer was strong (hard hand shears, no
CT failure). The area that collapsed was on a broad ridge, and the snow
underneath was firmer (P, vs 1F/4f in more sheltered areas). We did not see any
signs of this instability above 2000′.
On the present surface we noted large (up to 1 cm) surface hoar (getting bigger
by the minute) on slopes below 1500′. Very small surface hoar (2mm, lightly
rimed) was generally present to the ridge top (3800′).