Observation Date: 01/01/2017
Mount Fuji. Approached from Lolo Pass visitor’s center via Glade Creek trail.
Cloudy with light snow in morning turning to heavy snow and low visibility by mid-afternoon.
Light wind in morning turning to strong wind by mid-afternoon.
New Snow: 3-6″
Did not observe any signs of avalanche activity on approach or during skiing.
Dug snow pit near summit of Mount Fuji on a northwestern aspect (315°). Slope angle was measured at 31°. Pit depth was 5′ 6″. Compression test resulted in fracture 24″ beneath the surface on 16th strike (CT 16). Extended column test resulted in propagating fracture 24″ beneath the surface on the 16th strike (ECTP 16). Shear quality was Q3. Additionally, near ground facets appeared and felt sugary and poorly bonded, but did not fail during stability test. Decided to ski a low angle (less than 30°) descent and return to trailhead based on these results.
Observer: Charles Bolte