We found good riding conditions in southeastern Idaho today, although the north winds have affected many slopes (Pic 1 and 2). No new avalanches were observed through the day and not obvious signs of instability.
We performed a bunch of avalanche pit tests and found very repeatable results. Tests were done on a 30 degree east facing slope at around 9000 feet elevation. Compression tests failed consistently on 25-26 (CT 25) taps from the shoulder (Pic 3). The extended column test failed at 25 taps from the shoulder but the crack did not propagate (Pic 4). All failures occurred on a thin layer of buried surface hoar 18 inches below the snow surface. The buried surface hoar was on top of the three inch storm from last week. Below those two layers were several different layers of solid rain/sun crusts from early in November. There was a total of 44 inches of snow on the ground where we dug our pit.