Observation: Other Regions

Location: Sunburst

Route & General Observations

I was goofing around and isolated this 2 inch wide column that
was the full snowpack depth of about 4 feet deep. I was hoping
to get a picture of the layer of buried surface hoar about that
is about 3 feet down, but instead I excavated the whole bottom
layer of facets. I thought it was interesting that the slab
above those facets stayed together with such a thin column. This
shows the strength of the slab on top of those facets. A strong
slab on top of a weak layer can be a bad combination. Since the
entire snowpack depth is only 4 feet deep, it is still possible
for the stress bulb or weight of a skier/snowboarder/snowmachiner
to trigger that weak layer in the wrong spot. I’m not convinced
that the slab is strong enough to bridge very much weight. What
do you all think? Maybe this next storm will tip the balance.
Watch out for rapid loading.