Observation Date: 01/07/2018
North and south bowls on the east face of Little St. Joe
New Snow: 0-3″
I got out for an afternoon on Little St. Joe. I dug a pit at 7,800 feet on the exposed pitch of the normal ascent on a 35 deg, NE facing cross loaded aspect. Total snow depth as about 150 cm. The layer of concern was thin facets on the Thanksgiving crust at 90 cm at ECTP 30. Above that layer there were no results that propagated across the ECT. At the pit location, the facets appeared to have bonded, however a slide on the layer would be catastrophic. There were no buried facets above the Christmas interface, which is consistent with my observation that surface hoar did not form in the Bitterroot above 6,500 feet during the pre-Christmas dry spell. I felt comfortable skiing all of the low angle terrain on Little St. Joe alone.
For skiing information, the approach to Little St. Joe has excellent coverage, and it is possible to ski back to the car as long as you take the last long switchback on the road.
Observer: Brian Story