|CalTopo for Pilot Peak - MCS|
|Clear signs of snowpack settlement (Not Whumpfing)|
Stability testing produced negative results for the 35 cm layer of near surface facets above crust buried by the last storm. But the advanced facets buried between 55-80 cm (depending on elevation) continue to produce energetic propagation with sudden planar failures (Q1). The ECT (Extended Column Test) failed to propagate a fracture at the 80 cm depth, but the layer of concern is deeper than the recommended weak layer maximum depth of 70 cm. ECT with weak layers deeper than 70 cms results in false stables. Testing with PST (Propagation Saw Test) failed after moving the saw 25 cms along the fracture plane. The fracture propagated to the end of the column.
Notice that in the video, I do not let the ECT go wasted after it fails to provide evidence of propagation potential (due to depth of weak layer > 70 cms). In the spirit of searching for evidence of a structure favorable to propagation the snow saw is used to disturb the weak layer, and a fracture is initiated and propagated. Once the failure occurs, gravity takes over and the slab slips (slides) into my face ... pretty funny ... watch the video!
While performing stability test in the snowpit, the snowpack failed around us. The failure occurred at the 80 cm weak layer. Check the next picture with the snow saw next to the vertical crack. The vertical clean cut in the snowpack corresponds to the PST column we were isolating during the fracture.
|Fracture failure while in the snowpit|
|Avalanche starting zone at the 7700 feet - Whoop-Em-Up headwaters, Pilot Peak|
At most aspects and elevations, there is a delicate layer of surface hoar, and at slopes with southeast aspect the layer rest in top of a crust. This might become problematic if it is not destroyed by warm temps or wind prior to the next storm cycle.
|Surface Hoar above the crust layer.|
|Copper Mountain from Pilot Peak|
|Almost Top of The World and Top of The World - Pilot Peak|
|Summit Creek Glades - Pilot Peak|
We skied the Summit Creek Glades two days ago, and the carnage of the tracks can be seen. I would like to use this picture to point to a recurrent small avalanche, what we call a repeat offender. This avi path is in the shadows in th e upper right quadrant. Next a better picture
|Small avi with nasty terrain trap at Summit Creek Glades|