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| | |-+  March 1, 2014, Smith Brook
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Author Topic: March 1, 2014, Smith Brook  (Read 2414 times)
Charlie Hagedorn

Posts: 1891

March 1, 2014, Smith Brook
« on: 03/01/14, 09:43 PM »

What's better than crust? Soft crust beneath 4" of newfallen fluff.  Exceeded expectations, but still slightly hooky.

Skied low-angle slopes, hiding from the persistent boogeyman. Snowed a little in the morning, becoming moderate through the afternoon. 4" at 5pm on the ski out.  Bond between the new fluff and the warming crust is moderate to poor in strength, sluffing easily on steepest rolls. Hide in the cold and shady to minimize the crust.

A deep pit in the valley flats below Union Gap echoed our findings at Snoqualmie last week: strikingly featureless 1F-pencil snowpack down to a pencil crust at ~140-150 cm, then endless 1F for 50+cm below. Never found the old snow.

Only slides observed were on the S slopes of Union. Lots of new wet shallow D1R1 slides all across the face, apparently from Friday.

As part of the risk analysis leading up to this trip, I'd computed quantitative estimates of the risk of the big face of Union sliding and compared it with the risk of a car accident on the drive to Stevens. Proof that the universe has a sense of humor? Nearly had an impressive car accident on the trip home on snowy 2 far below the pass; what should've been a four-car spinout smackdown ended without any traded paint. The lesson: if two cars are parked on the shoulder, the one in front should accelerate and merge first. A simultaneous merge initiated by the rear car (to guarantee space for the front car) can leave the rear merge-er with nowhere to go if the merge attempt is bungled. Snow stopped sticking below Gold Bar.

Fun day with a great group, made even better by chance encounters with counter-propagating friends in the forest.

all mtn

Posts: 462

Re: March 1, 2014, Smith Brook
« Reply #1 on: 03/02/14, 01:02 PM »

'hide in the shady', well said.
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