Recent avalanches in the Smokys and Southern Sawtooths with a moderate load and wind don't bode well as we head into a multi-day storm. The known weak layer of facets + crusts near the ground will be a repeat offender. Storm totals and precip intensity seem likely to produce avalanche problems on many aspects at some point during the storm.
Steady snowfall in Ketchum beginning around 7 AM. Snow rates increased to S2 before noon totalling 15 cm (6 in). After noon periods of sun and S-1 amounted to another 1/2" or so. Mostly calm to light wind, with periods of moderate wind at 9,000'. Mild (wet pavement) at Baker Creek parking lot in the afternoon.
Above Alden Gulch
|D1.5||SS||N-Natural||Wind loaded sub-ridge. Looked relatively fresh but I had poor light.||None|
I found the (12/11) weak layer on all aspects at 9,000'. There were 2 crusts on a S-facing slope at 7,300' (12/19) and (12/22) but neither seemed particularly alarming where I looked.
Fox Peak, NE, 9,000', HS 100-130 cm:
130-115, F, new snow
115-45, 1F->1F+ at the base. Last weeks storm.
45-0, October-early December snow. Mix of facets and crusts.
CPST 35/100 END, ECTP25 in old snow beneath the uppermost crust.
Layer Depth/Date: 50-85 cm
Weak Layer(s): Dec 11, 2021 (FC)
Comments: I found old snow and felt a collapse on a SE-facing slope at 9,000'.
I planned to avoid avalanche terrain and stuck to that plan.