Poking around and brushing off the cobwebs
olsonizak , Saturday 30th October, 2021 9:00AM
Went up to East Peak to check out how this season’s snowpack is shaping up as well as try and remember how to tour. We stayed well outside the resort boundary (don’t poach resort terrain). Riding was pretty good but definitely still thin/sharky in spots.
Snow conditions were: Crusty, Powder, Wind affected. Weather conditions were: Cloudy, Cold, Stormy, Windy. We rode: Open trees. We avoided: Alpine slopes, Convex slopes, Steep slopes. Riding quality was good.
Avalache Conditions: 30cm + of new snow, or significant drifitng, or rain in the last 48 hours.
Dug a pit to ground on the south face of East Peak at around 2100 meters. The test slope was in open trees at about 32 degrees. Total snow depth was about 70cm on a base of vegetation. Bottom 15ish cms was sugary facets, likely remains from that first storm in early October. Top 50cms seemed to be a mixture of low density storm snow plus some wind transport, likely what accumulated over the past few day. (Finger to pencil). Compression test results showed a sudden planar failure in the top 15 cms of unconsolidated storm snow/wind transport at around CTM5. Second failure observed 50cms down at the storm snow/facet interface at around CTH6. Surface snow was small rounded grains, likely formed by wind transport. Definitely worth keeping an eye on as the snowpack develops, especially on north facing aspects that likely held that first snow longer. Snow density varied predictably with elevation. Denser snow with a bit of a melt freeze crust below tree line. Snow on east facing aspects seemed to be very dense and consolidated in wind slabs. At tree line the snow was deep and fluffy, more so in sheltered trees and less so on open slopes.
Sky was overcast and a bit foggy with about 50m of visibility. Moderate winds from the west visibly transporting snow. Trace accumulation during the day, minimal compared to the precipitation during the past couple days. Total of probably around 40cm from this recent storm system. Air temperature was well below freezing, max of probably around -5 and max of around-10 (although we did not take any measurements so this is an estimate).