Snow Observations

Valdez Snow Observations

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  1. April 10, 2015 Tailgate Alaska
    intermittent direct sun with drifting cloud, -1C at 2000′ most the day, variable light wind
    Storm snow was tested by many riders in Gullies 1-3 and faces between. Storm snow found to be settling and bonding quickly.
    Notable avalanche activity observed:
    !. Girl’s upper NE cirque, D2.5 human triggered April 9
    2. Python W-NW face and saddle, D2 natural during storm
    3. RFS W below cornice, D2 natural during storm
    4. Cornice drop on N basin between Odyssey and Goodwills, D2
    5. Lots of wet loose on steep S aspects to D2

  2. Dug a pit at 2600 feet to the climbers right shoulder of Nicks near the gully mouth. Snow changed from isothermal to a colder snowpack around 2400 feet. Approx 5″ new snow overnight.
    First round compression test:
    CT 13 @ 10cm & 15 cm failed simultaneously. CT 17 @ 40cm. CT 22 @ 109cm.
    Second round of compression test:
    CT 15 @ 40 cm Q2 shear.
    Invalid result this round for the 109cm layer since I accidentally levered on the column while the 40 cm shear. Smooth and clean shear though on a 1.5 cm ice lens. Below this ice lens was 3 cm damp facets and another 1 cm ice layer. Didn’t dig deeper. Area of these ice-facet sandwich was discontinuous across the face of the pit possibly from old interbedded windslab layers from our wicked windstorms earlier this year. Vary little temp gradient. 32* at surface.
    ECTX– no result whatsoever.

  3. Tuesday April 7 – Tailgate Alaska MP 29 Richardson Hwy.
    Rain/snow mix until 3pm when clouds began to break. Natural windslab/storm slab avalanche visible on west face of Python ~size 2-2.5. Evening tee-off with many of the north faces between Vertigo(Gully 1), Snatch(Gully 2), and Nicks (Gully 3) getting tracked. New snow below 2500′ was moist.

  4. Monday April 6 – Tailgate Alaska MP 29 Richardson Hwy.
    White light. Snowed all day above 2300′. Average temp -1C at 2000′. Moderate-strong south-southeast wind transported snow near Thompson Pass (wind channeled) and the upper ridgelines most the day, drifts to 1m deep. Above 2500′ 15-20cm (~8 inches) accumulated over the daytime hours, adding to yesterday’s 15cm ~(7 inches).

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