Snowshoe “cut” near Windy Point resulted in a near sheer wind/storm slab break.
Did you observe any avalanches?
Size 1: Relatively harmless to people
There was some old wet loose debris near Windy Point that was very shallow looking.
Signs of Unstable Snow
Did you see shooting cracks?
Did you experience collapsing or whumpfing?
Today was challenging, travel wise, in snowshoes. Much of the snow below treeline on southern aspects was consolidated, but extremely low coverage. The sharks were definitely out today.
I tried going off-trail for a bit, but then went back to the trail bed since the primary risk on my mind involved hitting trees or falling near holes in boulder fields.
Once I got up to the upper grade and out into the open the powder exhibited more wind effects and got extremely deep. I knew my original objective (Windy Mountain) was way too ambitious and risky, given the snow depths and snow still present on trees (concerned about tree bombs triggering avalanches). My observations and snowshoe cut reaffirmed my gut feelings about the conditions. Plus, it sucked swimming in deep wind fetch 😅.
HS at Windy Point seemed to be around 110cm-120cm. Persistent slab was observed in quick and dirty pit, along with a variety of qualitative properties of wind/storm slabs.
Most of the boulders on south facing aspects along the upper grade were snow free.
Good day for a walk; bad day for an aggressive snowshoe mountaineering objective.
Observed Avalanche Problem #1:
Observed wind affected snow on northern facing aspects with pillowy convexities. Below treeline, but out in the open.
Observed Avalanche Problem #2:
I dug a quick pit and it looked like there was a weak (fist+) persistent slab about 25cm down, sandwiched by fist hard powder (below), and slightly weaker storm/wind slow above (fist+). Interface was visible and easy to detect with crystal card.
Observed Avalanche Problem #3:
It seemed like there might have either been a 5cm deep storm slab or wind slab on top of storm snow. It wasn’t as well bonded to the layer below. Resulted in diffuse breakage.