Standard approach to Diamondhead from the north. Approached in the burn/trees to see what the next storm/wind event might settle out on.
Dec. 28, 2016, 2 p.m. PST
Weather: Clear, calm, and cold below ridges and treeline. W/NW wind was pumping on the ridge. No visible snow transport, but scoured on W slopes, deposited on E slopes. -6c air, -5c surface, -4c
Snowpack: Total snow depth 75cm. 75-57cm - 4F wind-affected snow; 57cm - density change/buried surface hoar; 57-45cm 1F/4F strong, rounded snow; 45-25cm 1F rounds; 25-0cm deep facets >2mm and fist strength. The pre-Christmas storms have consolidated quite a bit, the wind kicked up, and the bottom of the snowpack is still rotten. There's still a density change (buried surface hoar from late last week at 75 cm). Wind slabs above this layer are sensitive to shovel shear, kick-turns above the skin track, etc. Multiple CTX and ECTX, but low-angle (30-deg) test zone due to wind slabs. Turns found plenty of rock and wood lurking below the surface to anchor snow and force a skier to get the toolbox out. Take-away - Generally wind-affected, albeit anchored, shallow snowpack at Blewett Pass with two weak layers: buried pre-Christmas surface hoar and the deep facets that have also been apparent in the Mission Ridge metropolitan area. These layers may react under the next storm/wind event.
Area Description: ~30 degree NE slope off Diamondhead, 5310'
Observation by Nate Hough-Snee
Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No