Observation Date: 02/19/2021
Ridge leading up to Ward Mtn
Lightly snowing and temperature in the high 20s.
Calm initially but some wind in the afternoon.
New Snow: 3-6″
We dug a pit partway up our ski terrain, at an elevation of 6400 ft. NE aspect with a slope angle of 29 degrees. Snow depth was 130 cm.
Our extended column test produced a score of ECTN 17 at a depth of about 45 cm. We found an ice layer at 70 cm down, probably from the 1/13 warm storm event, with sugar snow just below that. That layer did not release during the ECT, but it released and propagated when encouraged with a shovel. At the elevation we started skiing (7800 ft), that layer was probably buried 1 m or more.
We skied two NE aspect runs (7800-5800 ft) and the long E aspect run down the ridge back to the car. On the NE aspect, we triggered one small point release near large boulders. In this terrain, at 30-35 degrees in burnt trees, we saw no sluff but heard numerous settling events and saw small cracks while skinning back up. We saw no wind loading where we were. The warm temps are creating a nice base at low elevation.
Observer: Mark Reinsel