Hard and soft wind slabs on the east side
By Ryan Matz | MWAC Forecaster
Date of Observation: December 10, 2018 12:00 PM
Location of Observation: Tuckerman Ravine and east snowfields
Large areas of hard wind slab yielding hard but clean failures in stability tests, with smaller and fewer areas of soft wind slab which remains reactive, producing easy and clean failures.
Able to intentionally skier trigger the small pocket of soft wind slab on a test slope as pictured.
Weak layer of concern for both hard and soft slabs seems to still be a density change in snow deposited since the 12/3 crust was formed, with bonding to the crust remaining good.
The bonding to the crust is good where wind has all but scoured to the crust, too, masking what would be easy to see grey, exposed crust with a thin layer of white. Visual observations are challenging in this way and also in determining what is soft or hard wind slab.