Conditions during Natural Wind Slab Avalanche Release Today, South Peak

Submission Info
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 11:00am
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
38° 2' 24" N, 119° 15' 6.12" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up the low angled saddle between Mt. Olsen and South Peak this morning avoiding wind loaded terrain above treeline and on, under, or adjacent to >30 degrees incline. Several natural D2 wind slab avalanche released this morning. See avalanche observation for details. Hand shears failed easily or on isolation under the new wind slabs (~5cm thick below about 10,400') and also in the facet layer still buried between 30 and 50cm down under a melt-freeze crust. Kick tests and kick turns had some localized cracking. Snowpit tests showed the new wind slabs and also the buried facet layer to be very reactive (see attached profile). While the wind slab was thin at our location, it is easy to extrapolate to a thicker slab up at the top of South Peak where the current avalanches started. Lots of blowing snow from moderate to strong W winds all day. Winds shifted to the N by mid afternoon. On the way home blowing snow was observed at ridgetops from N winds all the way south to Mammoth.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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More detailed information about the weather: 
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