Bitter cold in the shade, warm to hot in the sun. Beautiful day.
Feb 23, 2022 1:00 pm
We observed signs of sun triggered loose activity, but only one real avalanche. This was a D1 on a S-SW aspect of Harding Mountain.
There was a fair amount of wind affected snow in the NTL, and quite a bit in the ATL. Wind slabs ranged from 4F-1F+ in hardness, and a few were quite stiff, more like Pencil. Slabs were not very reactive during the day, but it seemed like you could still trigger one in the right area.
S aspects had a thin suncrust in the am, but this became a little thicker today. The crust itself is brittle, and not very well bonded to the low density snow around it. New snow was well bonded to stout crusts below on SE-S aspects where we traveled.
On NW-N-NE-E aspects, the recently buried (Valentines Day) crust presents in various forms, but often times faceted grains can be found sandwiched within, or beneath brittle crusts. On an ENE aspect at 6,440ft I got Compression Tests to fail with Sudden Collapses (CT 19 SC, CT 21 SC) 40cm down. An ECT did not propagate, but it did cross 2/3 of the column on this layer (ECTN 21). The faceted grains are 1-1.5mm on average. Overall my impression is that this is not a great structure to hold a lot more snow. For now, it doesn't seem like there is much of a slab, and folks were out high marking lots of big terrain features of all aspects with no results.
Excellent travel, very nice to have a refresher!