Observation Date: 01/27/2019
Top of snowshoe trail and Mt. Fuji
Patchy clouds and sunshine mix with ample sunshine. Wind was 10-12mph of the West.
Light, but persistent wind that started at 10 mph and built to 15 mph around 1-2 PM. Minimal snow transport during this time frame. Wind crust was becoming more solid. Wind pillows noticeable on the north to northeast aspect with mild pillowing on the southwest aspect.
New Snow: No New Snow
Skied short run down south to southwest slope from top of snowshoe trail. Skinned across basin to Mt. Fuji. Followed skin track up ridge line and created a whump just below logging road crest. Noticed more wind loading on trees and pillowing. Aspect was north to northeast. Unsure of elevation. Steepness was 30-35 degrees. Multiple ski pole column/hand test revealed wind had load 4-5 inches on crust that was shearing at that depth with facet crystals with minimal hand pressure pulling at the generic column created from a ski pole approx 30 x 30 cm. Dug pit and did CT. CT revealed sluff/shear of wind slab around CT-7/8. Noticed buried surface hoar 10″ below wind slab/deposit…..assumed this was the persistent weak layer and further CT revealed propagation around CT-20. Did not do ECT. Skied back down ridge line where I skinned up to stay off aspect and went back to top of snowshoe trail to ski better aspect with less terrain traps, steepness and wind loading. Skinned up that short hill amongst snowmobile tracks and noticed the start of some wind loading of this windward side and did create some shallow, but noticeable cracking below some of the mild pillowing below the ridgeline. There was not a release in that small area, however the surface separation (minimal) did extend 15′ in front of my ski tips. Tried to trigger more cracking with some provocation with the skis but was unable to.
Wind speed was a persistent 15 mph with the occasional gusting 18-20 at 3:30 pm for my last lap.
Observer: TAYLOR TILLMAN