Gentleman, Goose and I set out again early this morning to the backside (same spot) to acquire some first hand knowledge of the changes that are occurring in our snow pack. I was mainly wondering how the reactive layer I saw on Friday was strengthening/bonding, especially since new snow that fell and was transported to the area over the weekend. It did improve, but still retained some fairly lively moves as you can see in the attached file. In short, I would say that it's still pretty dicey on slopes above 25 degrees. The snowpack is thin (and this includes the frontside where I also found rather disturbing depth hoar). We seem to be experiencing the classic continental snowpack (sans the rain over the past several days). As much as the upper layers are a concerned (there is some buried surface hoar as mentioned above), there is also an alarming nearly 4 cm thick depth hoar layer at the ground (see attached image and chart). This layer reacted to tapping on CT18. And, when attempting a extended column test, this layer failed while I was cutting the column with my rope. Goose and I left the area after that but made some glorious turns on the groomers on the frontside. Keith, feel free to forward to Stefan. I am trying to generate an easy template so we could upload something like this on a regular basis to the Utah Avalanche site. It seems like Toby could add another region relatively easily and we could upload to that. JQP
Jason Q. Pilarski, Ph.D.
Department of Biological Sciences and Dental Sciences
Idaho State University
921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, ID. 83209
Phone: 208-282-3993 (office), 928-380-4567 (cell)