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11/23/17, 03:56 PM

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Author Topic: January 7, 2017, Snoqualmie Pass  (Read 1307 times)
Charlie Hagedorn
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January 7, 2017, Snoqualmie Pass
« on: 01/07/17, 03:54 PM »

A fun day to find unfamiliar conditions in a familiar place. Stout easterly flow and cold temperatures defined the day, keeping us to one lap. We all wore far more clothes than usual, hand warmers were used, and the phrase "I can't feel my feet" was uttered several times.

As advertised, there were plenty of signs of easterly wind effects on most open slopes, and ridgelines held wind-rows deeper into the forest (and in the wrong direction) than the norm. Some of the most profoundly wind-affected snow was right at pass level, where wind had been funneled by the terrain.

Ridgeline trees had more rime than usual, and not the usual feathery form, but large plates of ice, reminiscent of the summit rocks of Mt. Hood. Riming was primarily on the WSW side of the trees.

Skiing was good, 5k+ to below 4k. Ski penetration of boot-depth or less in cold light snow atop a friendly base. Bring mid-winter skis, not the fatties, unless you're making giant-slalom turns in the pow.  A little crusty from tree-drips/bombs in the forest, and a notable suncrust on S/SW aspects, especially steeper ones. It's thin, but it might be supportable and slick.

A few tiny test slopes popped for me ~20 cm down, with limited propagation. We had planned to avoid avalanche terrain almost entirely, and no instability was observed. One might find loose-dry sluffs on sufficiently-steep terrain.

For the future: Anywhere you expect surface hoar to form, even tiny open pockets of deep forest, if it's out of the wind, there's oodles of surface hoar. 5-15 mm. It's being buried right now by light snow. (the snow we saw leaving the pass apparently isn't accumulating?) The most prominent SH was visible at and below 4k, perhaps where there was less wind. It matches or exceeds what I've seen at Snoqualmie Pass in the past. The photo below is a more-extreme example close to a creekbed, ski-pole handle for scale



* YouCanFindBiggerSurfaceHoarTooTAY.jpg (193.78 KB, 718x800 - viewed 681 times.)
« Last Edit: 01/07/17, 09:31 PM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

joecat2
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Re: January 8, 2017, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #1 on: 01/07/17, 07:31 PM »

How could anything so pretty hurt you so bad?
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: January 7, 2017, Snoqualmie Pass
« Reply #2 on: 01/07/17, 08:08 PM »

Here's hoping it doesn't hurt anyone at all. NWAC's forecast discussion touches on SH too, in a measured way.
« Last Edit: 01/07/17, 09:31 PM by Charlie Hagedorn » Logged

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