Snow showers all day with periods of moderate snow (S2). Occasional sun breaks were very short-lived. The snow did not significantly impact the snow surface. Moderate NW winds were easily transporting snow.
Feb 20, 2022
I observed 2 small natrual storm slab avalanches on Gunsight Peak. Both occurred overnight and had a few inches of new snow covering the crown/bed-surface. These slabs were about 6" deep. NE, 6200'.
While visibility was very limited today I did not see any other avalanches during periods of sunshine.
Storm snow: 8-10" (20-25cm) with significant wind redistribution. This created scoured slopes and drifts up to 18-20" (45-50cm). The storm snow was fairly well bonded to the old surface (2/19). Handpits, up track tests, and small column snowpack tests all failed about 1" (2cm) above the 2/19 crust. However, small slope and large column snowpack tests did not show signs of propagation were likely.
Wind slabs: small pockets of wind drifted snow were seen along exposed ridgelines. While these slabs produce shooting cracks, they did not avalanche in any small slope test. With the winds out of the NW, the predominately wind-loaded aspects were E-SE-S. Many normally loaded NE slopes were stripped by the NW winds.
Shaded Slopes: On shaded slopes, the snowpack still contains several very well preserved layers. This much colder, drier, and weaker snowpack stands in stark contrast to slopes that receive sunshine. My primarily layer of concern on shaded slopes was a layer of weak (faceting) snow between the very thin and breakable 2/19 crust and the thicker Valentine's Day crust. This layer did fail in some snowpack tests, but failures were resistant and large column tests did not propagate.
Sunny Slopes: Sunny slopes now includes due E and W terrain. The new snow is well bonded to the 2/19 interface. Below the 2/19, the snowpack has undergone numerous melt-freeze cycles. So, while i could identify the Valentine's Day Crust and Late January crust, they had generally been incorporated into one large block of very strong and icy spring-like (melt-form) snow.