Breezy at ridgetop, no blowing snow observed.
Mar 18, 2023
E-S-W facing terrain on Stevens Pass
Debris from the recent, and somewhat ongoing WL cycle has become more impressive to observe. The timing for the following slides probably started around the 18th, but some may have been more recent: I counted 5 WL-N-D2's on the S Face of Lichtenberg, 1 WL-N-D1.5 on the SW Face of Lichtenberg, 3 WL-N-D2's from the Highway Chutes west of the Pass, and 2 WL-N D2.5's from Camp Paths off S side of Rock Mtn just west of Berne. Many D1's in the same vicinity plus Wenatchee Bowl, Jim Hill E slopes.
At pass level the surface snow was holding a fair amount of liquid water, and snow surfaces were wet. In the shade I found dry snow, but anything with a tilt other than direct north was becoming moist or wet with the sun. Low angle north facing slopes were also a bit moist, dense and heavy. Boot pen varied but in some places was well over 40cm in saturated snow. Ski pen ranged from about 10-25cm.
I was able to easily initiate wet loose slides on east and south facing slopes from pass level up to 5,400ft (my high point). These were entraining wet, heavy snow up to about 20cm deep. They ran fairly slow but packed a punch. On steep, larger slopes they could become destructive.
I dug a profile on a S aspect at 5,000ft and found liquid water down about 20cm, but surfaces were rapidly melting and water was starting to percolate deeper.
HS was 310cm, and the snowpack quickly became 1F to P hard all the way down. The early March crust was down 40cm with a layer of small graupel on it. I noticed a clean shear plane, but didn't get any test results on it. The Valentines Crust was down 100cm. Deep tap test on this layer yielded DT H, SP a few cm's above the crust.