Traveling in the Placer Valley today we saw no new slab avalanche activity.
However, several old slab avalanches from around a week ago are still visible in
the Placer Valley at the mid and lower elevations (see photo below). These are
suspect to be storm slabs that failed on a crust with either near surface facets
or buried surface hoar on top. They were all in the 12-18″ range.
We dug one pit (500′ W aspect) that revealed buried surface hoar around 30″
deep. This did propagate in an Extended Column Test but it took hitting the
column with a boot – well beyond the standard 30 taps. So, a weakness is there
but takes an extreme amount of force to cause failure.
Mild day. Clear skies with temperatures in the teens. Winds were light and variable.
Soft settled powder on all aspects with variable wind effect. This is becoming
more and more faceted out (looser) by the day. A crust sits below 3-8″ of loose
snow depending on aspect and elevation. Northerly slopes are spared the crust.