Valley Road to 4th Crossing, then up to Mazama Ridge. Went south along the ridge as there was less wind.
Jan. 2, 2016, 6 p.m. PST
Weather: Really fierce winds in exposed places along the ridge. Blowing snow felt like sand peppering your face. Winds from the ENE. If you could escape the wind in a sheltered spot the sun felt kind of warm
Snowpack: Lots of amazing sastrugi formations. Like a snow desert on top of the ridge, lots of blowing snow. Minor wind slabbing. A quick and fairly shallow (48") southwest-facing pit showed only 1F snow all the way down, no layers or crusts. Isolated a column but a CTM test did not result in a break. Shovel shear produced a nice clean break about 40" down from the surface. Wind seems to have broken down or prevented surface hoar from forming in many places. Lots of surface hoar in the Longmire area, which is protected from the winds, but not much up at Paradise.
Area Description: Mazama Ridge at MRNP
Avalanches: Saw a bunch of little loose wet releases on the westerly slopes below Skyline ridge.
Observation by Brian Carpenter
Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No