Skiing was fun at Mores Creek Summit with 10-15 cm of new snow in top of a supportable rain crust.
|Rain runlets at 6500 feet|
|Big turns from my Sir Francis Bacon!|
|Top of the World|
The only reactive layers we identified today are the buried facets from early December, which is now buried at ~ 70 cms. This weak layer continues to fail propagation saw tests with sudden planar fracture character. Compression tests support a picture where the 70 cm weak layer is hard to trigger (CTHQ1), however in one occasion a column failed during isolation (CTVQ1), and while skinning up a whumpf was triggered. This suggest that there are still isolated locations in steep terrain where it is possible to trigger a high consequence avalanche!
Conventional wisdom is that hard layers (rain or wind crusts) can isolate a weak layer and make them hard to be triggered. This can be a dangerous misconception. Fracture initiation can and do happen at weak spots or trigger points. Currently, the trigger points in our regional snowpack are highly variable and hard to pinpoint due to the thin and variable snowpack as well as highly faceted basal layers. Proof of that was the whumpf that Evan and I triggered later in the day as we skinned up 'Almost Top of The World', where the burly rain crust failed to "bridge' the weak layer at the random trigger point we happen to found.
|Boise Mountains in the horizon from Top of The World. Notice Almost top of the World slope, and farther back the Knob Ridge.|
Winter Corner is in the shade behind the Knob ridge.