Observation Date: 01/22/2015
We skied Too Steep To Tele and the SouthWest face of Burgundy accessed from the Snowbowl Gate
The weather was consistently blowing 10mph with gusts up to the mid twenties. We had between 150-400 foot visibility. Low lying clouds and blowing snow all day
West winds at 10mph with gusts into the mid twenties. Evidence of new and sensitive wind slabs that were relatively soft and up to 15cm in depth
New Snow: 0-3″
We dug a pit on the northerly aspect above Too Steep To Tele and it showed weak scores on the new snow wind slab of 15 cm but with no propagation and a shear quality of 3, it was (fist) on top of a (4 finger) 50 cm layer. Our pit did not fail below the new snow wind slab though we noted week layers at 65 cm and 90 cm both appeared to be ice crusts and propagated when initiated by a saw at Q2.
We also dug a pit above the southeast face of Burgundy Peak and found the new snow to be at a depth of 5 cm and a denser slab of 70 cm finger hardness on top of an ice crust and another layer of similar nature 20 cm below that. Our pit score was ECTP 23 at 70 cm with a Q2 shear.
Classic mid-season low probability High consequence. I can see these layers being triggered in shallow rocky areas causing major avalanches. The layers of concern seem to be fairly widespread.
Observer: Ben Hoiness