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| | |-+  February 1, 2014, Snoqualmie
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Author Topic: February 1, 2014, Snoqualmie  (Read 3002 times)
bfree32
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February 1, 2014, Snoqualmie
« on: 02/01/14, 08:05 PM »

I usually don't post the small trips without pictures, but I thought it would be worth posting about the current snowpack. We dug a couple pits and can confirm the NWAC reports of buried hoar. Pits at 4k and 5k, NE facing, both showed buried hoar (1-2" nearly hollow) sandwiched by crusts at 24". Upper snowpack was generally a bit dense, so the 24" was only yielding ~6-10" ski penetration for the most part. Column tests were a bit variable, but the hoar layer was surprisingly not super reactive. A wind layer at 15" failed first, sometimes with great quality and easy propagation (ECT02, Q1). We were a bit spooked by the results and generally stuck in the trees, but the skiing felt strangely stable. I think the higher density snow was just helping bridge the lower bad layers. It was a fun and safe day of steep skiing, but I wouldn't want to hit a thin spot on a big face right now.
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jtack
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Re: February 1, 2014, Snoqualmie
« Reply #1 on: 02/02/14, 08:35 AM »

Thanks for the report, as part of a threesome planning on the Patrol race next weekend I have been wondering what the snow was like.  It sounds like open slopes might not be the best place to be skiing.
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John Morrow
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Re: February 1, 2014, Snoqualmie
« Reply #2 on: 02/02/14, 10:04 AM »

Thanks for the report, as part of a threesome planning on the Patrol race next weekend I have been wondering what the snow was like.  It sounds like open slopes might not be the best place to be skiing.

If the temps maintain as predicted, should be great in the forest on the route.
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lrudholm
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Re: February 1, 2014, Snoqualmie
« Reply #3 on: 02/02/14, 02:46 PM »

How were the south slopes?
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Leyland
Chuck C
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Re: February 1, 2014, Snoqualmie
« Reply #4 on: 02/02/14, 08:51 PM »

South slopes going up towards Snow Lake Divide skied very nicely and no stability issues were found.  We were below 4K.
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savegondor
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Re: February 1, 2014, Snoqualmie
« Reply #5 on: 02/03/14, 11:00 AM »

I usually don't post the small trips without pictures, but I thought it would be worth posting about the current snowpack. We dug a couple pits and can confirm the NWAC reports of buried hoar. Pits at 4k and 5k, NE facing, both showed buried hoar (1-2" nearly hollow) sandwiched by crusts at 24". Upper snowpack was generally a bit dense, so the 24" was only yielding ~6-10" ski penetration for the most part. Column tests were a bit variable, but the hoar layer was surprisingly not super reactive. A wind layer at 15" failed first, sometimes with great quality and easy propagation (ECT02, Q1). We were a bit spooked by the results and generally stuck in the trees, but the skiing felt strangely stable. I think the higher density snow was just helping bridge the lower bad layers. It was a fun and safe day of steep skiing, but I wouldn't want to hit a thin spot on a big face right now.

I didn't do as extensive a test but found something similar on Kendall.  Was very surprised nothing went as multiple skiers hit the open slopes below the catwalk.  Even switch-backing skin track wouldn't go when isolated.  No evidence of natural slides up high.  Lots of evidence of slides in the bottom of Commonwealth where the PCT crosses below the cliff bands.  It seems like a step down avalanche to the base of the recent storm cycle could have been the main risk?  That top 10-15 was very solid. 
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bfree32
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Re: February 1, 2014, Snoqualmie
« Reply #6 on: 02/03/14, 12:04 PM »

It's interesting how variable this is; many others in the area did not find the hoar layer. FWIW, both pits were in somewhat open areas within/next to areas of old growth forest.

Here's a somewhat poor picture:


While I'm posting crappy phone pictures, this rabbit (?) was in a hurry:
« Last Edit: 02/03/14, 12:12 PM by bfree32 » Logged
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