Propagating Cracks, Base of Headwall

December 23, 2021 at 1:00 PM
Name: Joe Santo| Metrorock Littleton
Location: Base of Center Headwall

We headed into the ravine to make some observations and if we were lucky make a few turns in soft snow. As we worked our way up into the bowl we encountered smaller pockets of slab/windboard and areas where the crust from the last rain event was exposed. Hand shears in these lower pockets of slab revealed between 6 and 12 inches of 1F to P slab, on top of half, to 1 inch of 4F snow. About halfway through the slab there was a second interface between the 12/18 and the 12/22 snows. These slabs were quite stubborn. Moving higher the slabs softened slightly, and we kept to the old ice crust, or where this was impossible places where it was only thinly buried by slab. To our left (lookers right of chute runout) a soft pillowy slab increased in thickness as we moved up. Approaching the rock finger above, while still on a thin slab adjacent to the pillow we triggered a collapse which sent a shooting crack up and pit into the thick, softened slab, and down the edge of the firmer thin slab we were working up.