Open area within forest, deposition zone, 34-38 degrees, wind-protected. Not the heavily used 'main ' run. Exact location described on 3/9, corrected location today on the pinpoint map. This particular slope usually goes when instability occurs. I have ski-cut initiated avalanches here every season many times.
March 10, 2016, 10:30 a.m. PST
Weather: Warm and sunny, above freezing.
Snowpack: New snow from last night storm was rained on. Fresh snow now 6-8 inches wet mashed potatoes with a crunchy weak rain crust overlying supportable refrozen granular crust; OK fun skiing. The open slope with 38 degree angle was less sensitive than yesterday, but more significant and dangerous when initiated. The tree-shaded 38 degree chute did not avalanche today with vigorous ski-cutting. None of the 34 degree open slope and less angles avalanched today (yesterday 34 degree slope was sliding off to the crust when skied).
Area Description: Diamond Head, NE facing, 5700' elev.
Avalanches: The steep 38 degree slope went with a vigorous ski cut followed by a two-foot push to get it moving. Then the slope went perhaps 100 ft wide with wet loose and snowballs. The steep slope in 200 ft. transitions to nearly flat, at that point the debris was 2-3 ft. deep. A person ski cutting this type of snow who weighs less or is less skilled at ski-cutting may not get it to go initially, and then perhaps may get a few turns down it before the slope initiates. From the top, ski-cut hard, then push down hard. This type of wet snow would be more common at the crest such as Stevens Pass. Of interest in this wet-loose avalanche, the bed surface after the avalanche showed runnels from rain/ freewater yet also were some discrete crowns suggesting wet slab in some places. The weakness that was demonstrated yesterday was facets on hard refrozen granular beneath low-density new snow, perhaps partially reduced by today from free water last night percolating to the hard crust.
Observation by Robert Mullins
Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No