VA Lakes Mt Olson, Facets and conditions

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Mt. Olson
Submission Info
Forecaster
Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - 11:00am
Red Flags: 
38° 2' 27.8808" N, 119° 14' 56.3064" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up to just below (~200ft) the summit ridge of Mt. Olson to 10,700', dug pit on N aspect, 31 degree slope, in area of VERY dense firm wind deposit, see attached.  Layer of greatest concern here is ~10cm Fist+ rounding facet layer sitting under ~25cm Knife to Pencil+ old wind slab.  2 ECT tests failed and propogated with moderate force.  Compression test failed at 11 taps, Q1.  The very hard dense layer above this weak layer likely if effectively bridging (supporting) itself in most locations where this structure exists, but it could be conceivable that an unsupported pocket could exist in steep terrain that could be skier triggered.  The issue of failure here becomes much more widespread and likely once a significant new snowload weights the slope.   

1-2cm Knife surface wind crust ontop of 2cm layer of facets was of interest as well, (CT11 Q2 SP).  Not much thought about this result as it pertains to stability today, but after additional snowload, could easily be a layer an avalanche could fail on.        

Overall skiing conditions nothing to write home about.  Lots of VERY firm (barely edgeable while skinning) wind board, with pockets of texture and facets, and a bit of breakable here and there.  Still, can skin form the car, and avoid most bare spots!

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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