Snow Observations

Valdez Snow Observations

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329 thoughts on “Snow Observations

  1. Sunday January 25, 2015 MP 30 4-5:30pm
    skies obscured, moderate-strong ENE wind, intense snow transport at the Pass, temp dropped from -12C/10F to -15C/5F in an hour
    At the Pass drifts were building quickly across the highway.
    Although still unconsolidated in wind protected areas, the 55cm/21inches of storm snow pulled off the crust below. On a steep convex rollover I could see (visibility was still poor) natural fracture lines producing a size 2 soft slab avalanche. On a similar south facing test slope I was able to step on the storm snow and it fell off the crust, still too soft of a slab to propagate far. In tests, I got moderate results at the storm snow/old crust interface: resistant planar Q2. Facets below the January 19th crust, down 69cm/27inches, collapsed ECTP21 Q3.

  2. Friday, January 23, 2015. MP 35.
    Toured up Small Creek. Still quite a bit of bush to bash. Skies were obscured, snowing lightly. -5C air temp at 1:30pm rose to -0.5 by 3pm. 24cm storm snow, still unconsolidated, sat on a brittle rain crust from January 19. The smooth knife hard New Year’s crust was buried 35cm – on steep little rollovers, you could push the upper snow off that crust, though no propagation was seen and it didn’t fail in other tests. Foot pen 60cm, ski pen 30cm.
    Visibility was poor, but we thought we saw a deep fracture up on the northwest shoulder of the Dimond arena ridge at about 4200′. Hard to see due to the flat lighting.20150123 Profile photo

  3. January 19, 2015: Benzene
    We toured to just below the steeps of Benzene. The area is still full of brush off trail and was shallow. We dug to 60cm revealing moist snow to the ground with it refreezing on top. The pit revealed an ECTP21 with a sudden collapse in the moist grains below an ice crust. Surface hoar was noted from 2-3mm in size, growing on the surface. 201501119-Benzene.jpg

  4. Sunday January 18, 2015
    1500-1700 Clear on south side of pass, valley cloud on north to ~2800′.
    Strong northeast wind was flagging peaks and drifting snow on the Worthington Flats. 15cm powder on 2cm knife hard crust in wind protected areas. A quick spin gave some enjoyable turns off the lower Catcher Mitt ridge. Another party came down off Loveland and reported deep powder with no signs of near-surface instability. 12F when we left.

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