The snowpack in this zone seems to be relatively stable. Wind slabs don't seem reactive, but I'd still be wary of steep start zones directly below ridgelines. Cold temps and clouds kept wet issues off the table today.
Cloudy and cold. By early afternoon, some of the higher peaks were becoming obscured and a few snowflakes fell. It stayed plenty cold enough that previously formed surface crusts didn't thaw.
Saw a few rollerballs and dribbles on a lower elevation W aspect from yesterday. A bit surprised to see no natural activity on the north side—not even much in the way of loose dry sluffs.
Was a bit surprised that even at lower elevations, the storm snow on shaded aspects was staying cold, dry, and low density. Aspects that had sun yesterday had a breakable crust. Settled storm snow ranged from 20-25cm at the highway to 35-40cm at upper elevations.
@7900', NE, 33*: HS 205cm, HST 35cm. ECTP23 40cm down in facets beneath a 3cm 1F+ crust (3/14)—see photo below. Hard to imagine triggering a slide through that stout of a crust (at least given the light load), and it seemed like as you wrapped more N you went from a stout crust to no crust quickly.
@8800', N, 29*: HS 280cm. This wasn't the best pit site as it was wind affected, but the dirty 3/14 layer was 50cm down and an ECT produced no results.
No avalanche problems observed. I didn't enter steep terrain, but I think that N aspects over 40 degrees would have be sluffy. I wouldn't write off the wind slab problem, but I think you'd have to go looking for it. I ski cut a number of small start zones with no results or even cracking.Close