Observation Date: 01/07/2017
Standard approach from G-Spot trailhead to ridgetop at 46°40’1.55″N, 114°35’31.77″W.
Sunny in the morning giving way to overcast skies.
Wind was calm throughout the day. Observed wind scoured slopes above 5500 ft during approach and descent.
New Snow: No New Snow
No avalanche activity observed.
Dug two pits during approach to test stability and enhance decision making as I continued upward.
46°40’0.63″N, 114°35’16.07″W at 5561 ft. Slope angle was 21°. Pit aspect was NE. Snow was 100 cm deep. Identified crust layer with thin weak layers of snow above and below it approximately 40 cm beneath the surface. This layer did not fail during CT or ECT. Basal layer was faceted and poorly bonded. Compression test resulted in CT 17 at the ground. Extended column was ECTX.
46°40’1.65″N, 114°35’29.27″W at 6010 ft. Slope angle was 31°. Pit aspect was E. Snow was 102 cm deep. Again, identified crust layer bounded by thin weak layers 40 cm beneath the surface. Again, this layer did not fail during CT or ECT. Basal layer was bonded more than first pit, but compression tests were startling at first and highly varied (Eight CTs in total). Columns were cut from left to right in pit in two rows of four. Column 1: broke at ground while isolating. Column 2: CT 1 at ground. Column 3: Did not fail. Column 4: Did not fail. Re-started at left-side of pit. Column 5: CT 11 at ground. Column 6: CT 21 at ground. Column 7: CT 26 at ground. Column 8: CT 22 at ground. (Note: pit depth was consistent — one side was not shallower than the other.) Extended column resulted in ECTX.
Decided to ski planned descent that was not steeper than 30°.
Observer: Charles Bolte