Observation: High Ivory

Observation Date
01/28/2018
Observer Name
Nathan Chaszeyka

Region:

Location Name or Route
High Ivory
Weather
Sky
Obscured
Wind Direction
North
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Low clouds obscured ridge tops for the duration of our tour. Winds remained calm and temps were in the high 20's to low 30's.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

A .5 to 1cm radiant crust had formed on all aspects creating challenging but skiable "zipper crust" surface conditions. Face shots with crust fragments were frequent and uncomfortable. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
I dug a pit to ground in order to get a visual of the snowpack structure in the area but did not do a complete profile. The snow depth was 175cm, with the faceted base layer being 25cm of 4 finger to fist hardness depth hoar. Much higher density snow exists above that layer for ~80cm.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

Those facets buried near the ground are not going anywhere soon, but with each successive storm we are adding more mass to the slab on top of them. 

Snow Profile
Aspect
Northeast
Elevation
9800
Slope Angle
33
Comments

In general, the surface crust was unrelenting on all aspects and we did not find conditions that compelled us to continue skiing after one run. 

I feel it necessary to say that given the avalanche incidents of the past week, and widespread acknowledgement of our poor snowpack structure, the number of tracks on steep to very steep terrain on the top half of the compass seems concerning. 

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