Observation Date: 12/29/2018
Up summer trail, laps on S, SE (to about 7800′), and E aspects (back down trail, decent skiing to 6500′ and survival skiing on the trail and in the shrubbery below that).
Blustery. Mostly good visibility in the morning, but becoming very windy in the afternoon. No new snow seemed to be coming out of today’s predicted storm.
Blustery. Mild NE wind turned to strong WSW, transporting a lot of snow.
New Snow: No New Snow
No visible naturals. We hit a few small pockets of 30 degree terrain (nothing more than 10-20′ rollovers), that showed shooting cracks and easy release of wind slab.
We didn’t dig, and stuck to slopes at or below 25 degrees. Sun crust observed on South aspect below 8000′ or so. Wind slab was quickly forming on top of this layer and could be a major concern. Lots of snow transporting everywhere (even in mid elevation protected treed areas, forming a significant wind slab especially at higher locations or near ridgetop. Our skin tracks were often erased within a half hour or so by drifting snow.
Observer: Ben Johnson