Observation Date: 01/07/2015

Five Valleys Backcountry Ski Patrol members toured in to the head of Crystal Amphitheater. As the skiing itself was pretty heinous, we dedicated the afternoon to snow observations, and dug a large pit on an east facing slope at right about 6000′.

T-shirt weather! Very warm with gusty north winds. Dark, rainy-looking clouds blowing over in the early afternoon, but no precipitation.


New Snow: No New Snow

Avalanche Activity:
Observed 3 small recent natural slides. All looked to be confined to the recent heavy storm snow, and were on steep E and SE-facing slopes. Lots of pinwheels and several point-releases on steep terrain.

Other Comments:
Dug pit on a 30* East-facing slope at 5961 feet. Snow depth 173 cm.

ECT results:
ECTP2 – Q1 – new storm snow, 33 cm below surface with full propagation
ECTP14 – Q1 – failed on interface between newer snow and old, thick, consolidated depth hoar at 91 cm below surface with full propagation

Shovel shear tests identified several other layers, including a density change at 58 cm below surface that was reactive in simple compression tests.

Observer: Daniel Perret

Small slide on ESE-facing slope near the head of Crystal Amphitheater

FVBSP member checks out some of the layers revealed by a SS test