Observation Date: 03/27/2021
North and South facing peak to creek gullies about three miles above the trailhead.
From a short tour in Chaffin creek.
North aspect obs: We climbed a steep N. facing avalanche path a few miles up the drainage but well short of Sugarloaf peak. New snow on top of the mid-March crust was less than 20cm where we left the creek at about 6,000 feet. We turned around about 400 vertical feet below the ridgeline when the new snow got deep enough to be scary. There was also shallow debris hung up on trees, presumably from sluffs and natural avalanches during the snowfall of the week of 3/22. We were observing cracking about 10cm deep in snow that had fallen since Wednesday and followed up with pit results of CT6Q1 about 10cm down. Hasty pit results in the same location indicated that new snow (presumably from the entire 3/22 week) had bonded to the crust, but we didn’t have a good way to verify that. We did not dig deeper into the snowpack to investigate any potential deeper weak layers.
South aspect obs. We climbed a South facing avalanche path directly across the Canyon. Once again, above about 7,800 feet, new snow was up to 15 cm deep, and was easily cracking around our skis. We were not very confident in the stability, but new snow was shallow enough that we were comfortable climbing to the high point at 8.600 feet on steep treed terrain. As expected, there was a stout crust on all solar slopes under the new snow up to the ridge top.
Observer: Brian Story