I saw small natural wind slab avalanches in the foothills of the Soldiers as well as a natural wind slab avalanche along the Soldier Crest (both at least 4 days old). One explosive triggered avalanche (1/10/22) was noted in the Soldier Cat Ski terrain. I did not observe any signs of instability. Snowpack tests did not show propagating results on any layer.
Diffuse sun but no real warming of the snow surface on steeper south-facing terrain at 8,000'. Light WNW-NW wind. No snow left for transport with W-WNW-NW wind.
Jan 7, 2022
(+/- 3 days)
NE of Smoky Dome
Jan 10, 2022
|D1.5||HS-Hard Slab||I-New/Old Interface||
|D1||HS||Small, natural wind slab avalanches on E-facing slopes in the Soldier Foothills. There were several of these that likely released during strong WSW-W-WNW wind on 1/6 or 1/7.|
My main objective was weather station maintenance. Of note, the HS under the snow sensor at L. Soldier is 105 cm, but the HS in the immediate vicinity is 130-150 cm. It's hard to find a spot without some sort of subtle wind affect in this drainage, even at the weather station.
Quick snowpack Obs:
8,000' E, HS 130-155 cm.
ECTNs in upper 50 cm.
8,000' SE, HS 105-115 cm.
Subtly wind-loaded location.
ECTN11 down 15 cm, ECTN16 down 30 cm.
4F slab atop a couple of thin 1-2 cm facet layers (down 30 to 40 cm). I suspect (1/3) is one of these.
1F/1F+ below that with no obvious weak layers.
No October snow.
Layer Depth/Date: 30-40 cm
Weak Layer(s): Jan 3, 2022 (MFcr)
Comments: Shaded where observed. Noticeable layer but not propagating in ECTs. Likely the culprit with the explosive triggered slide higher up on Peak 2.
My objective for the day kept me on mostly low-angle terrain and groomed trails.