Mostly clear skies and sunshine throughout the day. In the morning moderate winds were blowing snow off Tiffany and other peaks in the zone. Winds were coming out of the North and Northwest today, but all the wind scooped snow features and riming indicated a history of South winds.
Jan 19, 2023
Slope near Clark Mountain
Skinning up towards Tiffany Mountain we experienced three propagating/ wumphing collapses in the snowpack below our feet on West and South low angle slopes. The snow depth was variable due to wind transport and sounded hollow in places. We also spotted a somewhat recent avalanche to the South of us in some North facing trees. Above treeline the wind effect is quite dramatic with large sculpted features, cornices, and rime ice building on surfaces. Ski quality was great once you got in the trees on low angle slopes. We ran into some other backcountry travelers who also reported wumphing collapses in the snowpack. On our way out we stopped to dig a pit to the ground to take a look inside the snowpack. Overall we found a thinner and more faceted snowpack than we're finding around highway 20. The bottom half of the snowpack is facets. There is a buried surface hoar layer about 30cm down with a cohesive slab above. This layer failed in an Extended Column Test (ECTP 12 @ 29cm) which indicates some propagation potential. Our Propogation Saw Test also indicates some readiness for propagation. Videos below. Throughout the terrain the height of snow varied from 60cm to 100cm. There is a fine melt freeze crust just a couple inches down. There is small buried surface hoar on this recently buried thin crust.
This part of the East slopes North forecast area sees fewer observations than the highway 20 zone. If you recreate out here, please help improve the forecast by adding observations of instability or other snowpack/ weather signs.
Some long column snow pack tests seen below: