Observations

South Snowfields GoS 28 Feb 2021

February 28, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Name: Drew Zeccola
Location: South Snowfields, Gulf of Slides

ECTN26, performed at 4500ft on the South Snowfields in an area just before the tree line, shelters from the 2 main slide paths in south snow fields. Dug column about 91 cm deep, on 26 hit noted a small fracture that did not propagate at the former wind hardened surface (see 2 below). Closer look at fractured layer and below surface: Seemed to be on a previous wind slab with no clear signs of faceted snow or ice. Other notes:
1- 7.5 cm of newly wind deposited snow on top that had hardness of about [Finger to 4F]
2- Former wind hardened layer about 30cm below surface, hardness of about 4F.
3- No other noted layers below this until ice crust about 80 cm deep.

With no other human triggers above or directly below we decided to ski (under the assuming we didn’t find any signs pointing to instability as we climbed). Climbed about 90% of the way up South Snowfields and wind blown snow turned into increasingly thick ice crust.