Mid level cloud deck from around 3,000′ to 3,500′. Temperatures in the 20’sF and calm winds.
Signs of instability:
Widespread surface hoar between 3 and 7mm from valleys to ridgetops respectively. Likely formed last night as temperatures dropped and humidities increased. It was anchored upright to a variable crust 2-10cm thick below. The crust ranges from hard and supportable to degrading and soft.
Dug one pit at the top of Todd’s Run – 3,600′ NNW facing.
Total snow depth: 270cm (this locaiton has likely not avalanched this season)
Several ECT’s and CT’s produced only one result which was a CT 27 SP @ 50cm down on a 1cm layer of rounding facets above a thick 5cm melt freeze crust. This was not repeatable and did not fail in the ECT tests.
Thoughts on our snowpack:
After a couple weeks now of digging in the upper elevation start zones (>3,000′), I have seen mostly a “continental” structure. Generally 2-3′ of hard strong snow with thin facet/crust combinations intermixed and all on top of 2-3′ of 1-4finger faceted snow. This has been mainly in start zones that have avalanched and hence a thinner pack. Today’s pit was the first pit I have seen that was deep and did not have weak faceted snow comprising the bottom section (likely because it has not slid). However, lower on Todd’s Run the case may be different since we know it has slid at least once this season. For now the pack has adjusted and stabilized but if we were to get a significant load the potential is there to see some avalanches stepping down to buried weak layers.