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Author Topic: February 13, 2014 More Blewett  (Read 2008 times)
John Morrow

Posts: 573

February 13, 2014 More Blewett
« on: 02/13/14, 03:31 PM »

With all the rain on the crest and in town I just needed to get out.
Mostly I found similar snowpack structure as Kevino did on the 11th with the exception of the precip that has fallen since then.

Since the time that Kevino skied the low density snow, a variety of new surface forms have accumulated.  In general, in the storm snow I found varying amounts (due to wind transport) of new light powder over, a soft and breakable rain crust, over more dense powder or thin wind slab. 

Basically this from top down at 5700 feet:

10 to 25 cm uncohesive fist hard powder (depth whether wind transported or scoured)
.5cm soft rain crust
30 cm older powder (4 finger) , gaining hardness either due to wind, or fine rain, or even warming temperatures perhaps.
2 to 4 mm of faceted grains lying on the January crust
2 cm January crust (disintegrating)
30 to 40 cm solid facets to the ground
dirt and rock

Wind was whipping and I stayed on low angle terrain with the exception of a somewhat protected 35 degree slope with anchoring around me.  Here I did the quick targeted test profile at 5700 feet on an east aspect.  I used a ski pole (handle end) to isolate the block to a depth below the January crust.  A bit to my surprise it failed while isolating the block!  The shear was obvious along the layer of facets resting on the January crust.  The facets are somewhat visible to the naked eye in the picture below.
Shear quality was not quite Q1, some of the denser powder remained intact, but clean and planar where it did fail.

Ski quality was not great with such variable surface conditions and flat light preventing me from easily identifying the exposed crust scoured of the more recent snow.  Plus, with my skinny rock skis, and such meager coverage, I really did not want to let loose.  If the snowpack had been dependably deep enough to avoid buried obstructions, and I had my fat skis, then it actually wood have skied pretty well on angles <30 degrees since the rain crust was carve-able.

Glad to get out but with the so many issues in the current snowpack structure all over the Cascades I am wondering about when and what to ski next.

* wind_transport.jpg (121.53 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 893 times.)

* Q1.5_failure_on_isolation.jpg (47.25 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 892 times.)

* ground_to_crust_facets.jpg (75.2 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 889 times.)
« Last Edit: 02/13/14, 04:59 PM by John Morrow » Logged
Roger Strong

Posts: 44

Re: February 13, 2014 More Blewett
« Reply #1 on: 02/15/14, 09:58 AM »

Thanks John...Super helpful info...variable funkyness all over.
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