Location Name or Route:
Laurel Highway> Goldminers> Talking Mountain Cirque> Lone Pine
Pit Details: Elevation: 11,000, Aspect: 270 (W), Angle: 38 degrees, Pit Depth: 106cm, HS: 283cm, Foot Pen: 10cm. Strong snow found in this pit on a West aspect in lower Talking Mountain Cirque. One look at the snow profile and you can clearly see we are dealing with strong snow in this location. Also very deep snow, 283 cm here! A few things to note about this profile. I was able to detect near surface faceting happening beneath the top 6 cm of snow. This is illustrated in the photos below. This is not critical to today's stability, but it is interesting to see it happening, and I will continue to look for this in other places. It will be important to know the distribution of near surface facets before out next storm. Another point of interest in this pit is what looks to me like rounded grains showing signs of faceting down 22cm. Two side by side compression tests did not produce any failures on this layer after 30 taps. However I continued to pound on the column after the test just to see what would happen. With several more hard whacks with ski pole in hand I got Resistant Planar fractures down 22cm in both compression tests. I think it's worth noting since the shear was planar and this is the only place I found faceting snow besides the very top. I don't think it is contributing to instability right now, just worth noting. I skied a slope adjacent and above this pit with the same aspect and slope angles approaching low to mid 30's.
Two photos of the near surface facets that are forming down 6cm. In the top photo you can see a thin line where the light is shining through the top of the snowpack. This is where the facets are forming. The second photo is a section of the surface snow showing the facets underneath. The side facing the camera shows the facets under the top 6 cm.
A column of strong snow I pulled out after pounding on the layer of faceting round down 22cm. The snow below that is very strong, Pencil resistance to the bottom of the pit. Todays overall danger is low, with moderate danger of persistent slab on upper elevation slopes North through East.
Snow Profile Coordinates: