Buried surface hoar is widespread in mid and upper elevation terrain about 2-2.5 feet down. Snowpack tests require a bit of force but are still propagating. Surface hoar on sunny slopes sits atop a crust; these slopes may be slightly more sensitive. Some evidence of wind loading from the 12/23 storm, but seems isolated to the exposed ridges of the Baker divide. Despite the surface hoar layer becoming increasingly stubborn, knowing it's underfoot keeps me in low angle terrain.
Overcast skies became scattered to few by later afternoon. 12/23 storm total in upper Baker Creek was 15-20cm of low-density snow. Significant amounts of snow available for transport. Solars were unaffected by the sun.
Head of Apollo Creek
|D2||SS||O-Old Snow||N-Natural||The Baker divide at the head of Apollo ran nearly wall to wall with evidence of numerous old crowns and debris piles that were covered by the recent storm.|
Upper Gladiator Creek, Boulders
|D1||L||S-New Snow||N-Natural||Several small/narrow debris piles coming from steep terrain. Likely sun-induced dry loose.||None|
Snowpack in upper Apollo and Brodie Gulch was relatively deep compared to Galena Summit - more similar to Beaver Creek. Total depth was generally 60-100cm. Fairly supportable riding despite having to goose the throttle in a few places.
@9200', SE, 26*:
Total depth 93cm. 12/7 SH layer was down 63cm and was sitting on a 1cm P hard crust. Slab above layer was 1F. ECTX, ECTP24
@9700', NE, 28*:
Total depth was 125cm. This location was about 50 feet below the ridge crest but likely received past wind deposition. 12/7 SH layer was 75cm down with a 1F slab above. The layer of DH near the ground was the worst I've seen so far, 35cm of F- snow and the crust at the top of the layer was almost completely broken down. ECTX on the SH layer, but with an extra hard hit it propagated.
Layer Depth/Date: 60-70cm, 12/7
Comments: Despite increasing ECT scores, still getting propagating results. Only one small collapse despite lots of stomping around.
I avoided avalanche terrain.