Conditions on Chicken Wing E. Face and N. Face Snowpit

Chicken Wing
Submission Info
Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 1:00pm
Red Flags: 
Rapid warming
Chicken Wing 37° 45' 22.0392" N, 119° 2' 12.3684" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured out to Chicken Wing this morning to see how the snow was holding up after storms, winds, and now warm weather. Skinning up NE shoulder about 9:00 AM, the snow was mostly soft with occasional areas of very thin MF crust. Snow depth varied and when I took off my skis for a snack break around 10:30 AM, I sunk in up between my mid-thigh and waist. (Note to self for the 100th time: don't take your skis off in soft snow).

After digging myself out of the hole, we skied the trees on the E. Face ~11 AM. No signs of any avalanche activity. Snow for first several hundred feet of decent was delightful. Lower down there were again some patches of very thin MF crust in sunny patches, but still skied very well. Towards the bottom near the road, snow surface was just starting to get a little bit wet.

Did a second lap up the the shoulder to the N. Face, and dug a snow pit in a shaded area to look for any weak layers (see below). Total snow depth was ~150 cm. Near the ground, we found about 30 cm of basal facets. Above this, the snowpack seemed fairly well consolidated and with a soft layer of about 25 cm of new snow on top. Below this was another 5 cm of slightly firmer snow (old slab?) on top of a very thin (<1cm) weak layer.

We did a compression test down to 85 cm from the surface to check for reactivity. Top layer came off in chunks at CTH25. Continued the test and had a cleaner fracture at the buried weak layer below the slab at CTH30. Grain size was larger in this layer, but hard to discern shape with the naked eye.

We skied back down the N/NE aspect at around 1:30. Snow was still very fun, but alternated between some sloughing in shaded areas and small roller balls in sunny areas as the slope warmed. There was evidence of one tiny loose wet slide (D 0.25) in a small gully which appeared to have been triggered by a falling tree branch. Trees on the way back to the car were starting to get a little bit crusty, but still pretty easy to get through. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Air temperature: 
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Calm to light wind. Sunny. Temps ranging from ~25 in the morning to high 30s by mid-day.

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