Observation Date: 02/24/2019
We toured up the ridge north of Lake Como to point 8250.
It snowed consistently throughout the entire tour (0700 – 1830 hrs), increasing in rate throughout the day. Sky was homogeneously overcast. Twin Lakes SNOTEL appears to have recorded a 4″ increase in snow accumulation over the time period, with an average air temp of 14 F, but I would estimate we experienced 12″ of new snow during the tour. There was at least 11″ of pretty light, smoky powder on the car when we returned to the parking lot.
Wind was very calm for most of the day, except on higher, exposed ridgelines, where we experienced moderate southerly gusts into the 30 + (?) MPH range.
New Snow: 6-12″
We observed no red flags, other than a fairly high rate of snow accumulation, and no avalanche activity.
We performed an ECT test at ~8100′ elevation on a south/southwest aspect at approximately [46.0761, -114.3370] on a moderately wind-affected, ~28 degree slope above a proposed ~750 ski line with slope angles approaching 35 + degrees (and steeper localized rollovers).
ECTN without fracture initiation of any kind. We noted two very hard 2 cm-thick ice crusts at 60 and 80 mm depth, to which the snowpack seemed well-bonded. The very dense column had to be forcefully pried off with a Q2 break on the 80 cm crust. Total snow depth of 175 cm.
We skied the stable, fairly steep, knee-deep powder run without incident, though noted new-snow surface slough accumulating in surprising volumes which in theory may have had the potential to carry a skier toward terrain traps.
Observer: George Gaines