West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Feb. 6, 2016, 8 a.m. PST
Weather: Cloudy and calm at observation, but high winds (100+mph at Muir, 25mph at Paradise) overnight.
Snowpack: Below treeline, we had a fair bit of rain last night, which eventually turned to snow. Last night's rain resulted in a 4 cm rain crust with older heavy snow below for 60-80cm. Was able to consistently get resistant planar failures with both CT, ECT, and SS tests at 40cm on a thin rain crust (0.5cm thick). Could not get it to propagate however. Above treeline, the same failure plane exists, but is more deeply buried / heavily loaded on lee slopes. I think the potential for new wind slab and storm slab to step down to this older layer is a possibility on steeper slopes. While ECT tests only broke (ECT 15 break @ 60cm on facets below the thin crust) and I could not get slopes to move during ski cuts, I was only assessing on lower angle slopes at approx 7000' elevation. Skiers heading to higher elevations on the Muir snowfield, or to steeper slopes (ie to the east of the snowfield) should exercise caution.
Area Description: Mount Rainier National Park - Paradise area
Avalanches: None triggered, and no new observed (24 hrs)
Observation by Brian Hasebe
Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No