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NWAC Avalanche
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| | |-+  Feb. 23, 2008, Tatoosh, Castle Saddle
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Author Topic: Feb. 23, 2008, Tatoosh, Castle Saddle  (Read 1555 times)

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Feb. 23, 2008, Tatoosh, Castle Saddle
« on: 02/23/08, 10:03 PM »

Went south looking for some corn and blue skies in this delicious early-spring weather.  Toured up to the Castle saddle and down the backside to check out some south facing slopes.  The way up offered an inch or two of loose snow on top of a highly variable crust, with some wind slab in a few spots.  The south facing aspect over the top felt like a slab with no crust, so we opted to stop and dig a small shovel compression and shear test.  Dug down just past the thick crust under about two feet of snow.  The compression test held, but the shear test failed easily about an inch or two above the crust (surprisingly) with a clean shear.  We decided we didn't like this considering there was no supportive crust over the snow in that area, and traversed through the trees to a west aspect slope instead.  The snow was nice corn on top of a melt-freeze crust that offered much more reassuring stability and good skiing.  Lapped this a few times and then back down the saddle and home.  Yay early spring...although maybe a few more powder days would be nice. 

All-in-all it was a good day, but it was surprising how variable conditions were within the same aspect and terrain, one minute it was nice melt-freeze crust, then breakable crust, then wind slab, then wet hollow underneath snow - a true test for new-ish avalanche hazard evaluation skills. 

* RK_Tatoosh1.jpg (43.01 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 515 times.)

* RK_Tatoosh2.jpg (66.34 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 506 times.)

* RK_Tatoosh3.jpg (59.93 KB, 1000x750 - viewed 515 times.)
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