Persistent weak layers, especially from New Years, are still active and can cause large avalanches now that the overlying slab has become thicker and stiffer, but at the same time the likelihood for triggering decreases. A dangerous gamble.
Strong E/SE wind was moving a lot of snow, new drifts up to a meter thick in the skin track and lots of spin drift along the ridge. New cornices forming fast to the W.
Between WX and Titus peak
Dropped >100kg of cornice and hit a fat spot, crown around 150cm at its thickest, tapering down to around 50cm at the edges. Crown 15-20m wide, ran around 200m. Slope angle high 30s at crown. Slab mostly 1F hard.
In the thickest part it failed on a mid storm interface, maybe 1/10, but quickly stepped down to 12/31. In this location I could not detect 12/7, it might have been destroyed by wind, but there was around 20cm of DH near the ground.
Dropped another >100kg cornice at second bump. Too flat to slide but the snowpack cracked down to DH at gnd, around 130 cm down. Did not dig a complete profile due to time constraints.
Could not get to the natural crown in a safe and timely manner. After I dropped the cornice I might have cleaned enough to be able to access it, but time was not on my side this time. From what I could see and from the slide I triggered I would suspect that the natural went on 12/31 too, with potential step down into 12/7 at lower drown from ridgeline where that layer is better preserved. FWIW the crown looked to be in the 50-150cm range, but light was very flat so hard to say for certain.
Avoided avalanche terrain except where it already slid.Close