The December weak layer is buried beneath a 3+' thick, very dense slab at mid and upper elevations. The lack of natural avalanches breaking into deeper layers as a result of the past storm indicates that maybe this instability is improving. But I would not trust my life to this snowpack structure - if you triggered a slide, you probably wouldn't survive it.
Some sunshine this morning, then increasing clouds through the day. By noon it was full overcast, and snowfall began midafternoon.
While the light was fairly flat, I had good eyes on a lot of prime-time avalanche terrain. I saw several mid-storm wind slab avalanches less than D2 in size, but I did not observe any persistent slab avalanches - which was surprising.
1-2cm thick rain crust found up to 7500'. Snow surface above that was dense/stiff - made for punchy skiing but decent sledding. Probing and snowpit described below indicate the 12/11 weak layer is buried around 1m deep at mid and upper elevations. Lots of wind effect at upper elevations, but wind slabs no longer seemed reactive.
@8650', E, 23*: HS 140cm. 12/11 buried 1m down - see photo. ECTX x2, but both propagated with very hard hits. CPST 35/100end. Oddly, the solstice crust was not found in this pit??
|Deep Persistent Slab||
Layer Depth/Date: 90-100cm
Weak Layer(s): Dec 11, 2020 (FCsf)
Comments: Rose indicates observed terrain. No natural avalanches observed to break down to this layer. CPST 35/100end. Weak layer is gaining some strength, but structure remains intimidating.
Lots of wind effect at upper elevations, but wind slabs no longer seemed reactive.
I traveled on some small slopes in the low 30s, but generally avoided avalanche terrain.