NNE & SSE Aspects on Boot Spur
By Jeff Fongemie | MWAC
Date of Observation: March 2, 2020 11:00 AM
Location of Observation: Gully on north side of Boott Spur and Gully on South side of Boott Spur
We climbed a long snow gully left of Dodges Drop in Tuckerman Ravine to the Boott Spur ridge, looking for wind slab formation out of curiosity as this slope has a similar aspect as Escape Hatch in Huntington Ravine, which avalanched naturally during the recent Feb 27 storm: https://mountwashingtonavalanchecenter.org/mwac-observations/entry/2487/
This slope did not avalanche during this storm, the deep trench terrain trap at the bottom is not filled with snow. No sign of debris. In the gully itself, we found wind slabs formed from recent snow over the weekend mostly 1F down 10-40 cm over several cm 4F in places, sometimes over water ice. These slabs were wall to wall in places, and found to be thicker/softer lookers right. The top 200′ the snowpack is heavily wind effected turning to a thick ice crust on the ridge. We chose to climb left out onto the rocky side of the gully to avoid the snowpack in last few hundred feet near the top. We did not ski the slope.
From the Boott Spur Ridge, we down climbed with crampons on very hard icy snow for the first 200′ of a “finger” in the Gulf of Slides. When the snow became soft enough for boot penetration we donned skis and skied the slope. Snow in this gully, with a SSE aspect was pencil hard down 10-20cm , then 1F down to the crust bed surface.