Observation Date: 01/19/2015

Five Valleys Backcountry Ski Patrol members toured in to the Cold Lakes basin in the northern Missions today. Surface snow conditions were interesting, with a breakable crust lurking 3-5 cm beneath fresh snow. Total snow depth was 315 cm (!) where we dug on a 32* slope at 6000′.

Graupel on and off for most of the day. Clouds began to clear in late afternoon.

Strong West to Northwest winds all day, especially at upper elevations. Observed lots of new snow transport.

New Snow: 0-3″

Avalanche Activity:
No observed natural avalanches.

Other Comments:
We dug on a 32* slope at ~6000 feet. Total snow depth at the site was 315 cm… lots of snow up there!

Lots of interesting layers, wish we had drawn a profile. 3 cm of fresh graupel covered a thin breakable crust at the snow surface. The next layer of note, at 265 cm above ground was a 2 cm thick ice layer on top of 4-5 cm of 4F facets.

Consecutive CT tests had the 4F facets failing at 3 and 5. The same layer failed with energy and full propagation at ECTP8, Q1. When we pulled the block off and examined the bed surface, we found a thin graupel layer that we hadn’t noticed in the pit profile. Pictures attached.

Observer: Daniel Perret

failure surface...

graupel mixed with other crystals