Today was a beautiful cold, clear, and still day. The sun felt fairly strong.
Feb 22, 2022
Rock Mountin - West Camp Path
|NL-Loose Snow avalanche
Widespread loose avalanches on SE-SW aspects from yesterday and today, to D1.5. These were mainly on the steep S facing Camp Avalanche Paths off the S side of Rock Mtn, but I observed a few off some WSW facing terrain BTL in Whitepine Creek.
We were able to get some small, loose dry sluffs moving on very steep north facing terrain. These were light and mostly harmless, but worth considering as we descended.
The big takeaway from the day is that recent weather conditions have been just about perfect for surface faceting and surface hoar formation where we traveled.
Surface: We found widespread surface hoar from 5-10mm from valley bottom to summit on W-N-NE aspects. Near surface faceting accompanied these large feathers. On S-SE aspects in the mid 5,000ft range, large surface hoar and facets sat on top of, and beneath a suncrust, which was a 2-3cm thick, friable crust. The sun crust was ~2-4cm beneath the surface.
Mid pack: In the BTL and under canopy, there is minimal new snow over recent crusts, which are stout to impenetrable. Out in the open and at higher elevations we found anywhere from 20-45cm of recent snow over the Feb 18th, and Valentines Crust layers. On South aspects, and areas with less than ~30cm in the shade, the recent storm snow has faceted out, down to thicker crust.
On NW-N aspects the Valentines crust was thinner, more crumbly and weaker.
Generally great travel, though quite slippery on the skin track. Excellent recycled powder skiing. Still hitting some ice chunks and debris esp below 4,500ft.