Followed FS roads and then the NW ridge to the summit area
Jan. 2, 2019, 2:30 p.m. PST
Weather: BRK skies in the morning and trending to OVR later in the day. S-1 after 3:00pm. No measurable accumulation all say. Light breeze from the N. Temp: 28F in Mazama at the end of the tour. Hight of snow(HS) at 6000ft is 95cm.
Snowpack: The December 30th Freezing rain event effected the snow to 4600ft. At el. 4600-5900ft the surface form on the shaded aspects were several cm(s) (5-20cm) of surface facets in any open area. Only a few areas had 1-2mm surface hoar. Once arriving at NTL at 6000ft, the top 5cm surface snow was moderately wind effected but still soft. In a 95cm test pit to ground: we found the preserved Dec 25th buried-surface-hoar 25cm down from the surface. This layer is nearly a 1cm and below a 4cm knife-hard layer of rounds. The Dec-25 SH is reactive in tilt and compression test (CTH-SC) . The same interface reacted ECTN22 propagating 60/90cm. Below the DEC 25th SH is a thick 1F-P+ slab siting on the base facets. Other noteworthy layers are the 10-15cm of 4Finger(weaker) 1mm basal facets. This weak snow is at the bottom of the pack (80cm down) and did react to deep tap test DCTH-SC with sudden failure.
Area Description: Sandy Butte: A foot hill of Mazama 9.5mi East of the crest with mostly BTL terrain with elements of NTL at the higher elevations.
Avalanches: We had a loud collapse (whumph) in a hanging meadow.
Observation by Mark Allen
Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No