Observation Date: 01/04/2014
Southern Swans, investigation of One of many south facing Avi Paths.
Snowing all day hard at times, visibility in and out all day. Cold, Starting warmer and cooling in the afternoon.
Wind was less than 5 mph all day. However did not make it to any ridgelines.
New Snow: 6-12″
Did not see any evidence of human or natural avalanche activity, during skinning no whomphing or shooting cracks visible the entire day.
Dug one pit on south facing slope in the southern swan at aprox. 6500ft. Dug pit to ground to search for 12 inches of sugar snow that seems to be located in many areas. Unfortunately we found aprox 12 inches of sugar snow at the ground. Snowpack approximately 5 feet in depth. Only other notable layer was approximately 20 inches down, assuming last storm cycle that appeared to be a rain crust. Pit results were ECTN 30. No failure no propagation. Good results for today’s tour, but to see how the snow reacted on the 12 inch layer of surgar snow we placed a shovel behind the isolated block and pulled towards us slightly. With a decent amount of force it should be noted that it failed on the layer 12 inches above the surface and popped out in one solid slab.
Additionally we dug three pits in the North Fork of Seeley Lake area on South and East facing slopes 12-28-13 and found 7-8 foot of snowpack depth, ECTN 28 Q3 at aprox 20inch depth, with facet layer on the south slope however not on the east facing slope. There has been two storm cycles since then dropping 20+ inches though.
Observer: Dave G