Profile site, 5780 ft (treeline), N aspect (30 T), 30 degree slope.
Feb. 10, 2015, 11:30 a.m. PST
Weather: Overcast, winds light from SSW, -1C/31F, mix of rain, freezing rain and light snow. Later: By 1400h precip had ended, mostly cloudy 7/8 sky, brief sun breaks, warmer.
Snowpack: 235 cm total. Approx 30 cm new snow in the past 10 days, high moisture content, rounded grains, well bonded to a stout base. Snowpack is right side up for the most part except for some crusts. Boot penetration 20 cm+. We dug a 120 cm pit at a N aspect site described above. Results notwithstanding, we had already ruled out the southerly aspects based on NWAC, active tests, and the day's forecast of clearing skies. Beneath the top 10 cm of fist-soft new snow from 2/9 and early 2/10, a thin interface would fracture but not cleanly or consistently, and did not propagate. CTN. ECTN 10 Q3 PC. No storm slab or wind slab observed. At the interface beneath the top 30 cm is a thick hard crust that fractured with some effort but did not propagate. CT 30 Q3 RP. ECTN 16 Q3. The fracture was above the ~4 cm K crust that exists throughout the Paradise area and was exposed for a long time before being buried on 2/1/15. Below 30 cm is pencil-hard snow matching other recent observations in the Paradise area. A layer at 35 cm took all 30 loading steps or more to fracture and did not propagate. CTN. ECTN 30 Q3 PC. At 100 cm, forceful tugging on a shovel shear produced a resistant-planar fracture as the column toppled. This was the cleanest fracture of the day. ST Q2 RP.
Area Description: Paradise area, Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park.
Avalanches: Point release R1 D1 small shallow loose wet sluff initiating at rocks and small trees on 45-50 degree slope, SE aspect 140 T, at 1200h, as temps rose above freezing and clouds were thinning. Accompanied by an increasing number of snowballs similarly initiated nearby and on comparable slopes throughout the terrain in this elevation band.
Observation by Denis Du Bois
Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No