Observation Date: 01/19/2014
Numerous tours from lodge at 5400′ to east ridge of Downing Mountain above 8,000′.
Morning low temps at the lodge at 5400′ hung out in the mid-30’s. Daytime highs above 7,000′ in the mid-40’s. Mostly clear with a few high cirrus and valley inversion conditions dominating.
From 1/14-1/19 ridgetop winds were mostly light out of the NW.
New Snow: No New Snow
Height of snow above 7,000′ on N-E aspects 120-150cm (4-5ft) and below 6,000′ 35-50cm (1-2ft). The snowpack is consolidating and gaining strength. During the courses the reactivity of all layers decreased, but variability in test results at the old/new interface at the basal facets down 70-100cm ( 2.5-3.5ft) left me with low confidence in this layer. The basal facets are taking on the characteristics of a deep slab problem in many areas and while there is a low probability of triggering this layer the consequences would be high. I would avoid likely trigger points on slopes >35 degrees where the basal facets are more shallowly buried; and steep, rocky, and convex slopes at upper and mid elevations.
The snow quality is high on more sheltered and northerly terrain above 7,000′, while most southerly aspect are quite variable sporting melt/freeze crusts of various thickness.
Observer: Michael Hatch