Observation: Little Water

Observation Date
12/31/2017
Observer Name
Wilson, Hardesty

Region:

Location Name or Route
Little Water
Weather
Sky
Clear
Weather Comments
Warm, clear, glorious.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Mixed bag out there.  Surface hoar on northerly low-angle slopes.  Damp on south and west at all elevations, and nasty-thick southeast crusts on our sunset descent.  Windboard on and near some of the ridges.  Still soft in trees, and on slopes that are protected from wind and sun.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
A few collapses and cracks on the ridge north of Little Water made me catch my breath, but the affected areas were smaller and the trigger points more isolated than they had been several days earlier.
Snow Profile
Aspect
Northeast
Elevation
9200
Slope Angle
25
Comments

Quick test pits on ENE at 9,200' in 60cm of snow, 30cm from the last storm cycle.  Full propagation on the first elbow taps (ECTP11 and ECTP12), failing on facets 1.5 cm below the old/new interface,  Another pit at the same elevation on full north, a drainage over, didn't propagate a fracture at all. 

Went out walking on the Little Water/Sheep Shit Ridge hoping to trigger some avalanches off the east through north steep pockets.  No such luck.  Does this mean we're moving into moderate danger, that the slopes had collapsed and healed already (there were signs of previous cracking), or that we didn't jump hard enough and close enough to the sweet spot?

Regardless, we kept slope angles low and avoided overhead hazard.  

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