Tour of East Peak, Union, Cement and Lake Basins via Bullion Basin.
Dec. 14, 2016, 4:30 p.m. PST
Weather: 12F, 10-35mph sustained E'ly winds, gusts to 50mph on the ridges. Light snow showers, overcast skies. Active wind transport, scouring and loading.
Snowpack: Widespread well formed (up to 1cm) surface hoar observed on all aspects between 4400' and 6600' except on E'ly aspects near ridges where wind transport had effected snow surface. Thin (1-2cm) sun crust on steep south facing aspects. Dug down 1m in several locations below ridges, revealing F to 4F from surface to 60cm, then 4F+ to 100cm below surface. The Dec 8 layer is easily observed @ 45cm below surface. Hasty pits revealed generally low density snow without any distinct shear between layers throughout the top 60-80cm except where windslab was observed (on SW thru NE aspects above 6600' and near ridges).
Area Description: Cement Basin, Union Basin area near Crystal Mountain. Tests: ECTN14 @ Dec 8 layer of NSF (appx 2mm) on a pit dug on a 33 degree slope, SW aspect (228 degrees) in an open area between trees. Observations:
Avalanches: We triggered two small avalanches on the NE aspect of the unnamed peak immediately south of Norse Peak, @ appx 6600'. Both were intentional and released while ski cutting. Both were recently formed wind slabs with appx 6" crowns. (SS-ASc-R1-D1). Looking across Cement Basin, we observed a 1'-2'crown, flank and debris field near ski tracks on the SW aspect of Lake Peak. Possible skier trigger or remote trigger of cross-loaded terrain feature? No party was observed in that area during our tour, so this may have occurred 12/12 or 12/13.
Observation by Alexander Pelman
Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No