Shooting cracks, Propogating test results, poor structure near Red Cone

Redcone approach ridge
Submission Info
Monday, December 14, 2020 - 2:30pm
Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
37° 35' 56.3928" N, 119° 1' 21.0396" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up to Redcone from Tamarack this afternoon with hopes of enough coverage to make it back down in one piece, and to search for instability.  I found both, although the former just barely.  Snow depth was very variable from a few inches in thin wind stripped spots to 2+ft in more deposited locations.  ~1ft of dense new snow from this past week existed in sheltered areas, overlying faceted weak sugary snow.  The most concerning sign of instability I found was shooting cracks and slope settling that reached out about 15meters while traversing the top of a small north facing chute at ~10,000'.  I dug a pit and performed an extended column test which failed and propagated at 12 taps, 23 cm above the ground. (ECTP12@23cm).  This failure occured in the middle of the old faceted snow, just below a decomposing ice crust that seperated the early november storm snow from the mid november storm snow.  (see attached pictures and video).  I feel that the slope woulf likely have avalanched had the ground been smooth without rocks protruding thru the weak snow that acted as anchors.  Got same ECTP12 results at that same interface in the other spot that I dug toward the bottom of the north facing slope of Red Cone Bowl Proper.  A sketchy snowpack exists where old snow existed prior to this past weeks snow especially on more northerly facing wind loaded slopes.  

On the ski out probably scratched about a dozen rocks, but luckily nothing too damaging to the skis or the body :-)  

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
shooting crack across entire couloir feature
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

The morning began with blue skies, and mid morning clouds rolled in and the rest of the day remained overcast.  Light NE winds in exposed upper elevations, reaching moderate levels at 10,300ft ontop of the high point of redcone bowl.  Quite cold this afternoon!  -8.5°C at 2:30 at 10,000ft.  

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