Observation Date: 01/31/2021
Skinned up to toward the Backcountry Yurts from Chair 5 at Lost Trail. Chair 4 was closed due to High Winds.
Winds as forecasted, from the WSW, steady in the low teens with higher gusts. Sunny and cold due to the winds. Ambient temperature mid-day was in the low to mid 20’s (F).
Gusty winds closed Chair 4 at Lost Trail. Winds from the WSW for the majority of the day. Seemed windier in the morning, but gusts continued to be in the Moderate range throughout the day. Obvious wind scouring on South and West aspects. This was especially obvious given the new snow that had been there the day before. Our travel took us through terrain that was mostly unaffected by the wind, but we could see evidence of it in the surrounding terrain.
New Snow: No New Snow
A large, car size chunk of cornice broke off of the main ridge below Saddle Mtn on a NE aspect. No avalanche activity below the cornice fall. No signs of natural avalanches, no shooting cracks.
Extensive Surface Hoar development on W facing, low angle aspects near the yurts, despite the winds overnight and during the day. Pits dug on W and WSW facing aspects at about 7900ft. Pits on WSW aspect were in a more wind-affected spot and produced propagation on a layer of SH about 40cm from the surface. Pits on the W aspect at about 7900ft did not produce any propagation, but did get Sudden Collapses in compression tests on a similar layer of Surface Hoar under the new snow. This layer seems like it can be found anywhere from about 20-40cm down in the snowpack. There is still a base of about 30cm of weak snow at the bottom of the snowpack. HS ranged from 110-135cm in this zone.
Observer: Meredith Condon