Snow Stability on WNW Aspects

February 5, 2021 at 4:00 PM
Name: Jameson Faulkner
Location: 5000 ft, WNW Aspect 300 degrees , Cog Railway Treeline

My partner and I skinned up late afternoon on 2/4/21 to dig a pit and check how the snow is reacting on western aspects to its new load from our Tuesday storm. We dug 2 pits, 10 feet apart and conducted 3 CT’s and 1 ECT. The ECT and CT in the first pit yelled no results, yet the CT’s in the second pit yielded the following – CT17 and CT11, Q1 shear, failing on small facets, F hardness, from 43cm to the ground. On top of these facets is 1F hard slab at a size of 117cm with a constant temperature of -7.78c. The HS was variable between 160cm to 170cm and due to wind deposition, the difference between the CT results looked to be caused from the 10cm HS from pit to pit. Regardless of the ECTNR, due to the shear quality of the CT’s, we abandoned the idea of skiing any western aspects until spatial variability is less touchy. We skied out via the cog which was scratchy yet edgeable fun skiing.