Observation Date: 11/22/2014
After parking at the Hoodoo Lake and hiking about a mile up the road towards the pass, I left the road with my crew and crossed the small valley and creek to access the low-angle east/southeast glades that looked pretty safe. During our walk, we noticed both whoompfing and shooting cracks.
When we came out of the trees, we decided to dig a pit. There was between 10 and 20 inches of heavy fresh snow on top of a melt-freeze crust, on top of sugar. Pit depth was around 30″. We isolated a column for a compression test, and the layer between the new and old snow failed. Our slope was not very steep and the snow did not slide off the old layer easily.
We then decided to do an ECT. We didn’t have a rope, so we cut out the back of the column using a snow saw. Once the column was nearly isolated, the snow failed on the same layer. Once again, the snow was not particularly easy to pull off the layer it failed on, but this may have been due to low slope angle (20-25 degrees).
So… CT0, Q3, ECT0, Q3. Very scary. We spent the remainder of the day on this low-angle slope, hitting a kicker and dodging alder bushes, but decidedly not venturing onto anything remotely close to 30 degrees.
Mostly cloudy, occasional snow/graupel showers, not very windy
It was not very windy where we were, but gusts kicked up every once in a while. It was clear from a distance that the trees near ridgetops were free of snow but lower down had lots of snow, so the wind was mostly higher elevation. Wind appeared more of less from the west
New Snow: 12+”
Observed Danger Rating:
Observer: Ben Uhlenbruck