Turns All Year Trip Reports

2006 Backcountry Trip Reports => January 2006 Backcountry Trip Reports => Topic started by: tytyler on 01/31/06, 01:41 PM

Title: Jan 31, 2006 Paradise: snowpits
Post by: tytyler on 01/31/06, 01:41 PM
Decided to head to Rainier for the day and dig a few pits.  I'm headed to Jackson WY for AV 3 and decided that I needed some practice before I went.  Never did one last year......there wasn't any snow to dig last year!  Of course I get there and realize I forgot a hat and some layers, needless to say I didn't stay out long.  I got two pits in; one full on and another hasty.
Pit 1:
Just off the road into Paradise Valley out of the parking lot.  On the walk over there was a crust almost the whole way that took a good jump to break through.  I dug the pit on about 30 degrees/facing east and 5360ft, the wind was loading the slope and there was about a 3 in layer on top of recent snow.  The wind slab went EASY & clean on a shear test, compression test and slid as soon as I stept on the Rutchblock.  Under the windslab there was about 20cm of 1finger consolided snow, below that an 8cm layer of pencil hardness crust, then a 20cm layer of fist hardness  (facets??), another thin layer of an old crust below that and all 1 finger below that.  After the wind slab broke off, the next shear (in all tests) was at the top if the 4 fists layer and went easy & clean, and with a slight hop on the Rutchblock.  Not very comforting.
Pit 2:
Was above the parking lot at about 6100 ft, WSW and at 28 degrees.  The snow had started coming down from the new storm at about 1pm.  I only did a hasty pit.  There was a very dense slab layer on top of about 15cm that took a good effort to break through (I couldn't break through even with jumping)  below that there was unconsolidated powder (4 finger) to a small fist layer and then all 1 finger.  The slab layer on top went with a moderate pull on the shear test and 2 smacks from my elbow on the compression and a rutchbock of between a 1/2.  The next shear was pretty poor quality on the shear test; I just fell through the rest of snow on the rutchblock and the compression didn't give me much of results.  I wouldn't want to cause a slide on the top layer slab, it didn't break up at all, even as I tossed it down the slope....no thanks!!
There were pockets of soft powder on some N and NW slopes, but the wind was starting to change all that.  I got cold when the wind and heavier snow picked up so I headed home.  I was surprised to see a few people out there skiing and boarding...none of which had shovels!!!!!  Anyway, hope this helps.  I'll be out somewhere next Tuesday depends on av conditions and I'll dig a few more.

Title: Re: Jan 31, 2006 Paradise: snowpits
Post by: ron j on 02/01/06, 03:13 AM
Good info, CW.  Thanks.
An additional location where posting this info would be helpful is on the NWAC Avy Blog.  The avy pros post there and review other's posts there regularly. Their link is in the upper left corner of the TR pages here (then click on "Create Report" - upper RH corner of the Avy Blog page).

Title: Re: Jan 31, 2006 Paradise: snowpits
Post by: Garth_Ferber on 02/01/06, 06:05 AM
Also a thanks for this sort of info from the NWAC. Info that is more purely snowpack info is great on the NWAC blog and no need to be a pro to post there. Or posting on TAY gives me an excuse to browse trip reports.

Sure was stormy at Paradise last night and this morning!  :)



Title: Re: Jan 31, 2006 Paradise: snowpits
Post by: Lowell_Skoog on 02/01/06, 11:11 AM
Hey, you're famous! From today's NWAC avalanche forecast:

A fairly extensive snow pit report on Turns All Year from Tuesday at Paradise indicated some firmer slab surface layers had formed, or were forming, with some low stability test scores and clean shears beneath the slab layers.

Nice work.  ;)

Title: Re: Jan 31, 2006 Paradise: snowpits
Post by: tytyler on 02/01/06, 12:36 PM
I went ahead and posted the same report on the NWAC snowpack info exchange as well.  Glad it was of use for some people.  I'm always so surprised at how little people post pit info, do people still dig them?  I like knowing whats going on out there, so I'll be out there next week and I'll post some more pit info. :)

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