Mostly clear skies at sunrise with some slow-moving clouds passing through. Cloud cover built for a few hours in the afternoon, though sky cover was never more than 50-60%. Skies cleared into the late afternoon and were clear at sunrise. Temps felt warm in the sun, but seasonably cool in the shade. Winds were calm to light during the day, picking up to moderate speeds from the south as I exited along the morraine.
Apr 6, 2023
I observed a widespread wet loose avalanche cycle today. During the mid-morning and early afternoon, when sun was unobstructed by clouds, I was hearing natural loose avalanches every few minutes, sometimes more than one at a tie. Many of these were small, but some were approaching D2 in size. The starting zones of the larger avalanches had some crowns visible. I think the changing slab properties from the sun in combination with the touchy MFcr+FC weak layer were enough to produce these slabs. The largest slab I observed broke an estimated 400+ feet wide.
The snowpack took a lot of shortwave and longwave radiation today. Any slope that tilts towards the sun got a crust, and many flat and even slightly shaded slopes at low and middle elevations were undergoing some melting at the surface. As I exited the field at the end of the day, SW-W facing slopes that visible water in the upper 2 cm of the snowpack, producing some excellent glopping conditions. I dug in two locations looking for persistent slab problems on shaded slopes. There are a few non-descript interfaces consisting of small facets sandwiched between dense snow in the upper few feet of the snowpack. These produced ECTNs and ECTXs and generally rough, dirty shears. I'm still a bit leary of these and chose not to expose myself to large, open, steep slopes where this combination existed.
Persistent slabs and wet issues drove my terrain selection today.
I very selectively entered some avalanche terrain. I am still avoiding most avalanche terrain.