The slope above the traditional snowmachine up track to Seattle
Ridge is called Repeat Offender.
The most remarkable thing about this snow pit was the
temperatures near the surface. The air temperature was 37
degrees F and you can see how the temperature of the snow gets
warmer near the surface. This can sometimes develop facets near
the surface that can become a weak layer in the future especially
if there is a crust near the surface. There is no crust; so,
this may not be too big of a concern. This is just how this
stuff works and we need to keep our eyes on this type of stuff.
Another thing worth noting about the warm temps is that it can
sometimes indicate decreasing stability in the surface snow.
This is usually more of a concern in the spring with intense
direct sunlight, but can also become a problem with prolonged
temps above freezing for generally 3 or more consecutive days.
If there was a weak layer near this warmer snow, then it might be
a problem, but the main weak layer that we are concerned about
today 12/8/2009 are those facets on the ground and they are quite
a bit deeper than the warming snow.