Snow pit data on north and northeast aspects between 7500’ and 8000’ revealed an 85cm-95cm deep snowpack made up of crusts and non cohesive facet layers.I performed a couple of column tests that reinforced my suspicions about the weaknesses in the snow I was observing.
Both column tests were performed in a similar location but failed at different depths and different layers.The first test failed 35cm down from the snow surface using a hard amount of force. Propagation was observed. The weak layer was 5cm thick and made up of facets(sugar snow) between two meltfreeze layers.(ECTP26 down 35)
The second column failed 20 cm down from the snow surface at the new snow/solstice crust interface.The thin weak layer consisted of facets (sugar snow)that had formed between the solstice crust and new snow we received around Christmas.My column failed with an easy amount of force. Propagation was observed.(ECTP4 20cm down)
It started snowing around 10:30,less than 1 cm per hour.I observed wind transported snow at ridge top.I expect there to be windslabs on north,northeast,and east facing terrain near ridge tops.
I did not like what I was seeing in my snow pits,poor structure/strength and propagation.Therefore I chose to descend on terrain less than 35 degrees.Close