Observation: Maple Hollow

Observation Date
12/3/2017
Observer Name
Toddeo

Region:

Location Name or Route
Pahvants - Maple Hollow
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Wind Direction
South
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Wind was incrasing all morning. Warm day.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Rain-Rime Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

Started @7,000' on patchy snow.  Continuous cover on shady aspects above 8,000.

At 9,200', HST ranged from 4-8" in shady and north aspects.  Some deeper areas are likely due to drifting or pooling.  Surface was dry in this area.  Profile below.

 

 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
No red flags today...... As with what I observed on Friday about 8 miles south, the wildcard ? is there enough snow to initiate a collapse if we get a load. Today I was 700' higher than Friday and my suspicions were confirmed when I found facets above the ground. Kind of like finding a rash you suspected but didn't know you had....... The facets were 1-2" thick, It is difficult to say if they are contiguous enough to cause a problem. My guess is maybe. Photos below.
Snow Profile
Aspect
Southwest
Elevation
9200
Slope Angle
20
Comments

Snow profile consists of 1-2" of basal facets, dry, 4 finger, not thick enough to measure fist but likely.

Facets are overlain by a decomposing crust, 1 finger+.  Upper snow is dry decomposing and faceting crystals.

 

Photos below:

1.  Poor photo of Facets, still figuring out the new gizmo phone.....

2. Area overview, theses photos are valuable to help remember where the old snow is.  The slide paths on the left are more west facing and have less old snow.  Paths on Right have more east in them and less snow.  my main concern is the center paths.  Ridge line is 9,800 to 10,000'.

3.  Cowboy Strava (real cowboys, the ones that ride horses that is)

Another day of hiking until punching through the snow got annoying.

The real guess is how much old snow does it take to initiate a collapse and resultant avalanche.  This is a difficult ?

Today's Observed Danger Rating
None
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
None
Snow Profile Coordinates