Observation Date: 02/18/2015
Toured up Gray Wolf Peak on southern aspect above Riddell Lakes and down the same.
Very pleasant day to be out. It started totally clear but clouds increased by the afternoon which kept the snow on the sunny aspects from getting too soft. No precipitation all day.
Mostly calm below 8000 feet. On the ridge crest at 8700 feet there were light to moderate winds at times from the west. However wind-loading in the alpine was very light, there just isn’t much loose snow available for transport.
New Snow: No New Snow
We saw no new avalanche activity. However we observed many wet loose debris piles (size D 1.0 -1.5) above 6000 feet on multiple aspects below slopes steeper than 35 degrees (photo 1). Most of these looked several days old. We saw one very small crown to our northwest on the lower slopes (~7500 ft) of E St. Marys Peak (photo 2). Looked like a wind slab and might have been more recent.
We dug a 1.5 m deep snow pit at 8000 feet on a south aspect. The top 2-3 inches was a breakable crust with faceted snow beneath it that would propagate a fracture. Below this the snow pack was basically a stack of multiple P to K hard crusts and old wind slabs. Did not get any failures on these deeper layers.
Observer: Adam Clark