Observation: Tushers

Observation Date
12/26/2016
Observer Name
Toddeo/Lear

Region:

Location Name or Route
Tushers - North Fork Three Creeks
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Cold day! Clear and calm most of the day. Plumes off of the highest peaks in the morning, subsided early.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments

Powder, 'nuff said.  Settled out a bit from yesterday.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Heavy Snowfall
Red Flags Comments
We stayed in sheltered mid elevation terrain. The primary red flag is the HST which has settled from >30 to about 26 to 28". In general on lower angle terrain <35 degrees everything felt stable. However towards the end of the day we dug a pit and performed quick ECTs and columns on steeper rollovers. We were not able to isolate the new snow on slopes >37-38 or so degrees. all failed near base of new snow. I think this may be related to the surface hoar I observed on Friday before the storm. I assumed that the warm wind may have broken it down but now I am not so sure. I would not want to be in steep terrain based on this. keeping the hazard at considerable. One ECTP, see below in profile notes.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Storm Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

See notes above for red flags.

Considerable hazard.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments

As usual for the Tushers, all of the alpine looked nuked.

I would speculate considerable hazard.

 

Snow Profile
Aspect
Northwest
Elevation
9300
Slope Angle
20
Comments

In general a good early season snowpack.  HS - 54".

Basal facets are rounding and 3 finger hardness. Not a big concern in this area.

A rain crust about 12-14 above the basal rounding facets.  It is decomposing.

The rest of the pack grades from 2 to 4 finger hardness capped by fist.  One rain crust was observed in the mid pack about 12-14" above the basal facets.  This appears to be decomposing.  The recent storm snow has grapuel at the base.

Note ECTP 21, Q2 @ base of new snow, slow it did not "pop".  This shear is similar to some of my pole columns yesterday.

Photos below.

1.  basal rounding facets

2. mid pack rounds

3.  base of storm snow

4. ECTP results

Overall I would say considerable hazard we felt that we would not want to ski steep terrain.

Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates