Observation Date: 12/27/2019
Hamilton-Darby (southern) Bitteroots up to 8400′, from 12-25 to 12-28.
beautiful weather (12-26), calm winds, temps in the high teens
New Snow: No New Snow
With 40″ of snow at 8,000 feet, the buried weak layers are probably healing, but new ones are developing near the top of the snowpack. Dense snow of 12-20 plus light snow of 12-24 form a thin slab (5″) that was cracking out above the skin track on buried surface hoar in sort of a lazy man’s Rutschblock test (see photo below). Also by 12-27, spectacular surface hoar had developed (see photo) and was then buried and preserved by a couple inches of new snow on 12-28. None of this will be a problem until a bunch of weight is added. The avalanches, like the skiers, are waiting for more snow.
Observer: J Lonn, Janiec