Blue skies and sunshine. It was a gorgeous day.
Feb 13, 2023
|HS-Hard Slab||3ft||NC-Cornice Fall||Report|
Widespread loose cycle - including both dry and wet from what I could tell. Most of these were small, but a few may have approached D1.5. There was a very large debris pile below the Bryant Peak Couloir that almost made it into Source Lake. Probably a D2.5, but I could not see the start zone/where it actually initiated. Will be interested to find out later.
I traveled up the Alpental Valley to Source Lake then up to Draft Dodger Ridge. Dug a pit at 4600' on a N-facing rollover. Then made two laps down to Source Lake before I had to head back to the car and navigate the parking lot nightmare.
There was plenty of soft and fluffy snow right from the truck with snow increasing significantly as you ascend in elevation. Hand pits were a bit uninspiring but would fail with enough of a tug on the moist snow at the base of the HST. Where I dug it may have been a little wind-loaded, but I measured 58cm over the 2/13 interface. Alp Pro Patrol later reported a similar depth on their manual stake on Disposal Ridge. The snow was generally right-side up, but a midstorm layer continually showed up during small column tests down 31cm. I was able to find some graupel/rimed PP mixed into the snow a few cms above the 2/13 interface, but it was unreactive in this location. Classic graupel. The 2/13 interface was 5cm thick and freezing but not yet fully frozen solid. It was ski but not boot supportable.
I kicked off the smallest wind-loaded pocket on a steep convexity with a ski cut. Hard to even call it a pocket, more like some blocks of snow. Uptrack tests had a few soft blocks failing, but not consistently. The snow seemed to lack a lot of slab characteristics during my time out. Loose avalanches and falling in a tree well were more of a concern.