Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 11:00am
Toured up the NE face of South Peak in the Virginia Lakes Region today. Left the car at 9700' around 11:00am. Tempurature was 28 degrees. You could see good amounts of snow being transported on South Peak and the slopes of Black Mountain from where you park. Winds out of the W/SW primarily in the basin around Little Valley lake below South Peak, consistent wind around 15mph with gust in the 30s and 40s. Skinned up the NE facing trees and into the main northeast facing gully on South Peak. The wind shifted and was out of the SW when we rounded the corner up the main Gully. The wind speed increased signifigatnley at this point.
At our highpoint of 10800' We dug a pit:
Height of snow was 152cm in our pit location.
150cm-152cm: 1Finger hard wind crust
125cm-150cm: Fist hard new snow
95cm-125cm: Pencil hard crust
65cm-95cm: 4Finger facets 2mm (see photo)
40cm-65cm: 1Finger crust
Ground-40cm: 4Finger facets 2mm
CT20 Q2 failed at the below the pencil hard crust/hard slab layer at about 95 cm above the ground.
ECTN12 fractured above the pencil hard crust/hard slab layer about 125cm with no propagation. On the same test we got a ECTP24 when a propagating fracture occured at the 4finger hard facet/pencil hard slab layer interface- the same layer that fractured on our compression test, around 95cm above the ground/57 cm below the snow surface.
While Skinng up on two different occasions I stomped and caused a dinner table size pocket of 4 inch thick finger hard windslab to break (see photo.) Other than these two events I didn't observe any signs of sensitive windslab such as shooting cracks or collasping despite all the snow being actively transported on that aspect.