Classic spring weather. Periods of warm, bright sun, then squalls producing S3 snowfall and moderate to strong winds with very minimal visibility. I love those days.
Apr 2, 2023 4:31 pm
|D2.5||SS-Soft Slab||O-Old Snow||2ft||
Aside from the one we triggered, we did not see any other large, persistent slab avalanches. We saw evidence of a decent amount of mid-storm activity, though much of this was masked by continuing snowfall and wind. Enough snow had been moving around that evidence of large slides may have been masked as well. There were periods of good visibility when we would have seen slides in the nearby terrain, and periods of very poor visibility where we could hardly see our skis.
Brief periods of sun were quickly affecting the new snow on solars. The upper 15cm of the snowpack quickly transformed, feeling much denser, moister, and heavier. Once it cooled and refroze there was a 3-4cm thick aerated MFcr just below the snow surface. This was occurring on flat slopes and even low angle northerly slopes (high sun angle in April), but slightly steeper norths remained cold and dry, providing some excellent skiing.
We did not encounter a distinct wind slab problem, just areas where wind loading had added to the persistent slab problem.
We traveled cautiously. We had no intention of entering large, consequential avalanche terrain, and we stuck to that plan. The skiing and riding were very good, it would have been easy to deviate from that plan.