Observation Date: 12/22/2018
We skinned the NE ridge of Ward Mountain. Stuck to terrain that was less than 27 degrees.
Sunny, no precip, no wind until above 9000′
Calm. Wind gusting to 15mph above 9000′
New Snow: 6-12″
Some lose slides visible on southerly flanks of Downing Mountain.
We experienced widespread collapsing (whumpfing) from about 5500′ (50cm of snow) to about 7200′ (1 meter of snow). We suspected that this collapsing was happening on the depth hoar. We dug a pit in 180cm of snow at 8800′ on a NE aspect. Our tests showed poor stability and many high quality sheer failures. However, faceted layers seemed to be rounding. We enjoyed good low-angle skiing on great snow.
Observer: Joshua Phillips