Observation Date: 03/03/2019
Up and down S. facing couloirs across from Lion peak/Ward 3, and one short N. facing run into Sawtooth canyon from the Ward/Sawtooth divide.
Didn’t visually see any clear sign of natural slab avalanche activity. Did not get any whumphing. Both of the South facing gully systems avalanched naturally for their entire track, but it was difficult to tell if it was during last week’s (late February blizzard) storm cycle, or previously.
We were getting localized shooting cracks up to 15cm in depth on S. facing terrain presumably breaking at an interface from the beginning of the late February blizard storm cycle. The slabs seemed very isolated, and we were comfortable with stability given the confined and low elevation terrain without any big starting zones hanging above us.
We dug a quick pit to 120 cm near the crest on a 32 degree N. facing slope to assess the wisdom of dropping N. into Sawtooth. We didn’t identify an weak layers or have any failures in the pit, but we didn’t dig in a spot where storm slabs had formed, so our pit results probably don’t translate well to storm slab concerns.
Low elevation snow coverage is all time right now.
Observer: Brian Story