It was a beautiful day to be out and about with warm temperatures and calm winds. Sunny aspects started warming up by late morning which created some gloppy snow in these areas. Shaded aspects stayed cold.
Below 5500 ft: Very little avalanche hazard exists below this elevation. A trace of new snow covers up a widespread slick crust, which makes for challenging slick travel. Ski crampons would be helpful at these elevations.
Above 5500 ft: This is when I started hitting more recent new snow. Generally, I observed 10-15 cm of new snow sitting on a crust. On shaded aspects, this new snow was actively faceting near the surface due to recent cold days/nights. Some surface hoar was observed in isolated areas. Sunny aspects were cooking in the sun by late morning - these aspects will have a crust going forward.
In a test profile at 5900 ft, East aspect I observed a HS of 210 cm.
- ECTN8 15 cm cm down
- CT4 15 cm down ( under recent crust) , RP on layer of 1mm near-crust facets.
- We have weak snow (near-surface facets) on shaded aspects . Some surface hoar in isolated areas. Solar aspects will now have a crust going forward.
- Weak snow exist above and below our most recent 2/19 crust- especially on more shaded slopes. Below the crust I observed 1mm facets that were responsible for easy failures with CT's. However, this interface wont be an issue until we start building more of slab.
- We have a strong lower snowpack in this area.