West side upper elevations, widespread scouring
By Ryan Matz | MWAC Forecaster
Date of Observation: January 5, 2019 11:00 AM
Location of Observation: Upper elevation Ammonoosuc Ravine, Burt Ravine
While east facing ravines hold large areas of recently wind loaded snow, upper elevations on the west side of the Presidential range seem largely scoured to a crust. In many areas, that crust is the 12/22 rain crust that is nearly impenetrable with a boot. More recent breakable crusts can be found. Pockets of snow from the past week are scarce, and as a result, today’s avalanche problem was all but non existent.
Today was a classic example of the spatial variability inherent to range scale forecasting. The Presidential Range received a Moderate danger rating. The specific aspects and elevations where the wind slab avalanche problem could be found did have Moderate avalanche danger, while avalanches were hardly a relevant hazard on some other aspects. Most days are less black and white than today regarding distribution of an avalanche problem and thus avalanche danger, but it’s always worth considering the aspect and elevation where each avalanche problem is relevant when mentally gearing up to make decisions in the field.