Morphing Snow Crystals

North Rockies

northrockiesfieldteam , Friday 6th March, 2020 5:00PM

We often find one of the fastest and most effective ways to test a weak layer in the snowpack is to give it a "sled cut" by sidehilling across a small steep slope that doesnt have any consequence (theres no chance of burial or injury) if it avalanches. We did a couple tests like this up at Morfee today and in one of them got some cracking. We decided to investigate further. As you can see in the first photo, we discovered 2 layers of buried surface hoar, one down 25cm and another one down 35 which propagated with the first hard tap in an extended column test. Visibility was terrible due to the stormy conditions so we couldnt see if there had been any natural avalanches recently. Seems like these two weak layers are here to stay for a while so we kept our playing to small slopes and avoided anything steeper than 30 degrees.

Snow conditions were: Wind affected, Powder. Weather conditions were: Stormy, Cloudy. Riding quality was good.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN