Observation Date: 12/20/2015
Snowmobiled and ski toured in the Southern Swan Range Pyramid Peak area
Sunny, No wind, Nice day, Storm snow from Saturday was dense however not completely settled out.
No wind this day, Not much evidence of high winds during the last storm
New Snow: 12+”
Only saw one small natural loose snow sluff on an opposing ridge. Other than that experienced some collapsing and whoomphing mostly on shallow snow on top of beargrass and brush. It looks like before this last big storm there was probably very little snow as snowpack was surprisingly thin with almost no developed base. Pole plants and stepping off skis resulted in sinking to the ground. pit on south facing slope at 6900 ft. consisted of 2 to 2.5 feet of unconsolidated storm snow on top of 6 inches of facets. The interesting thing was the facets appeared to be bridging on top of the bear grass/ground as you could brush your hand between the facets and the loose bear grass, ECT test revealed ECTP 12 to the ground medium energy. We did not notice any shooting cracks and ski cut did not produce cracks/propagation or movement. It seems with consolidation and more load this snowpack could be very touchy.
Three large downed trees on the trail, one at the first switchback. Going to require a chainsaw if you plan on sledding past the trailhead.
Observer: Dave G