Shallow snowpack with a reactive persistent slab problem raises the stakes if caught even in a small slide (fairly common at Pilot Peak bowl).
Warming trend. Temps exceeding 0 Deg-C.
No slab avalanche releases observed. Wet loose releases at I-21 road cuts at 5600-6100 feet elevation range.
I was surprised about the 5 cm crust layer above the ground. The persistent weak layer (35 cm) rests above this crust. The slab consists of two rapidly rounding/sintering layers (15, 23 cm from the surface) of the most recent snow. Stability test results: CT1SC, ECTP11, CPST22/100(END), PST35/120(END). All fracture planes at 35 cm depth from the snow surface.
Layer Depth/Date: 35 cm /20191203
Persistent slab problem not present below 7400 feet, irrespective of aspect.
Warm temps assisting in the development of a more cohesive slab. Even though the basal facets have undergone rounding, whumping and reactive test results suggest that the combination of a shallow slab, persistent crystals, and the melt-freeze layer below the slab/weak layer structure might become even more reactive with additional loadings, such as next weekend storm.
Stayed on Pilot Peak Road. Shallow snowpack and snow-covered rocks/underbrush/dead-fall impede safe skiing. Avoided avi starting zones at Pilot Peak bowl due to numerous whumps. Was traveling solo thus did not approach > 30 Deg terrain to perform ski test.Close