Recreational Observation


Jan. 21, 2017, 11:30 a.m. PST

Weather: Active!

Snowpack: Warm ambient temps., particularly in the alpine, helped to strengthen surface snow prior to the arrival of significant precipitation on 1/17. In the Harts Pass area, a group of local skiers and I observed a very good bond between the old snow surface and incoming storm snow, accompanied by a strong cooling trend. A period of strong SE winds on 1/18 allowed for significant transport of the low density storm snow. It is noteworthy that we received approximately half of the storm snow of the WA Pass zone. Along the HWY 20 corridor, lots of trail-breaking and digging happened on 1/20, through 45-60cm recent HST. There is consensus in the community that the recent storm snow has a good bond with the old surface, as demonstrated by numerous CT's, with results ranging from none to RP. Ski cuts produced no results on the 1/17 crust. However, there is still uncertainty regarding weak faceted grains below the 1/17 crust, which produced some SC results in tests, and some localized collapse below skiers. This may be elevation dependent. Confidence in the Wind Slab Problem above treeline remains low, with very limited observations. Strong trail-breakers needed.

Area Description: Northeast Cascades

Avalanches: None observed

Observation by Drew Lovell

Did you see any avalanches? No

Did you trigger any avalanches? No

Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No