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| | |-+  February 9th, 2014 - Crown Point - unstable snow
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Author Topic: February 9th, 2014 - Crown Point - unstable snow  (Read 2186 times)
calvinh4
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February 9th, 2014 - Crown Point - unstable snow
« on: 02/10/14, 04:44 PM »

Thought we find some safe spots South of Crown Point, but ended back-tracking after whumpfing and cracking on the ridge.  At the top of Crown Point a crack formed next to me from all the wind loading on weak layer.


Worked our way down Pickhandle on a moderate slope angle, but the top 8 to 12" still was sliding.

http://www.nwac.us/observations/pk/96/

https://plus.google.com/photos/103727466702143735136/albums/5978600464759462977


* DSCN1425CSH.jpg (45.76 KB, 640x480 - viewed 958 times.)

* DSCN1435CSH.jpg (70.12 KB, 640x480 - viewed 980 times.)
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Splitboardist
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Re: February 9th, 2014 - Crown Point - unstable snow
« Reply #1 on: 02/10/14, 05:38 PM »

We rode the east face of Pickhandle Ridge and found 18+" of perfectly unconsolidated snow over a firm base. The wind effect started right at the 6K level, but no cracking or settling and we stayed low for three short runs of face shots and trees. No sluffing or sliding but we did see some natural releases on the opposite side of the basin.

This was my first time at Crystal since last season and the coverage was still quite low with a few open creeks and downed logs to ride over.
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zenom
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Re: February 9th, 2014 - Crown Point - unstable snow
« Reply #2 on: 02/10/14, 09:34 PM »

... ended back-tracking after whumpfing and cracking

We were north of you a bit toward Norse Peak, same day probably same time, and found the same conditions and backtracked twice. Maybe two dozen whoomphs. Often with cracking, once with a large 50ft radius area collapsing (not steep enough to slide). The layer below the older crust is weak, loose and probably was what was collapsing. Also the new storm snow was not well bonded to the top of the older crust.
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andyrew
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Re: February 9th, 2014 - Crown Point - unstable snow
« Reply #3 on: 02/11/14, 09:23 AM »

We were skiing the north slopes to the west of point 6479.  Snow conditions were 18 inches of unconsolidated fluff on an icy crust.  Dug a pit lower down and got CT 16 on the new snow/old snow interface on what looked like facets.  More facets apparent lower down on top of the icy crust.  Conditions above the crust were totally unconsolidated.   I noted some avalanche activity in the form of dry sluffs, both natural and skier-triggered.

I got one small whumpf skinning along the ridge, which in retrospect I should have heeded more closely (for its implications about other aspects, as much as for what it meant about the slope we were planning on skiing).

We stuck to lower angle, non-wind affected slopes and had good skiing.  Sounds like slopes that got loaded during the period of easterly winds were much more touchy.  I suspect all aspects will be touchy now, though!
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