Forest Trail Knoll - surface/new snow instabilities

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Knoll above Forest Trail
Submission Info
Forecaster
Tuesday, February 5, 2019 - 3:30pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 39' 16.722" N, 118° 58' 29.5716" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Skied from the house to Forest Trail Knoll across S, SE, E, and NE facing slopes.  S and SE facing slopes were relatively thin with their exposure to the SW winds (see attached photo of wind stripped spot).  Much more snow on other aspects.  Slopes were 30° or less, save for small rolls, most of which resulted in small soft surface slabs (10" deep or less) releasing when skinning or skiing over.  No shooting cracks, just these small slab releases.  

8350', SE facing slope: Test pit on small steep convex roll with cross loading where tiny slide was triggered  - ECTP58cm down, subtle change in density in 4finger snow.  The slide didn't fail on this layer however, it failed in two layers closer to the surface.  (see attached photo). Both these layers also had failures in CT test: CT2Q2-13cm down (fist ontop of fist+), CT12Q2-38cm down (fist+ ontop of 4finger).       

Dug a test pit just below the ridgetop on a small NE facing 38° roll, 8500'.  Total snow depth=260cm. 170cm of new snow sitting on melt-freeze crust.  Several ECTN failures in new snow with ECT test, no propogating results.  New snow fairly evenly transitioned from Fist hard at the top to 4finger to 1 finger above the melt freeze crust.  

From this limited observation, overall impression is that steep slopes that aren't wind-stripped are sensitive, and while shallow surface instabilites would be widespread, much deeper slides would could also be likely.  Patience with tomorrow's blue bird day!  There's a ton of new snow out there, give it a chance to settle.  

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 
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