Whoomphing, slope collapse, large shooting cracks - Minaret Vista Rd

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Minaret Vista Rd
Submission Info
Forecaster
Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 2:30pm
Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
37° 39' 8.028" N, 119° 3' 14.4828" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured today from Main Lodge out to Minaret Vista along the Rd, and then dropped down to the Reds Mdw Rd, then back up on the Rd to Main Lodge.  ~20cm of new snowfall from today, and occasional light convective snow showers throughout the afternoon.  Calm winds in this below tree-line terrain. The most noteworthy signs of instability I found was while traversing the small steep NE facing slope above the Rd ~1/3mi before Minaret Vista I triggered quite a few slope collapses and large shooting cracks. See pit profile and video - https://youtube.com/shorts/35cRF6IOG4s.  Over a meter of snow was found here with the bottom 40cm made of the November storrm snow which is now weak sugary facets that this months snow is failing on.  I believe if this small slope didn't have quite a few small tree and bushy anchors, it likely would have avalanched.  Continuing on the tour dropping down a mostly NW facing slope down to the road leading to Reds Mdw, the snowpack progressively got shallower from near 2.5ft above 9000' to 1-1.5ft at 7800'.  The thickness of the basal facet layer decreased with elevation as well, to only a couple inches thick near 7800'.  I didn't experience any other slope collapses on the tour.  Of note, it seems that the thin ice layer in the middle of the facet layer that I was seeing all over the place last week has now nearly completely faceted away.  I managed not to hit anything too badly on the way down ... a few scrapes with rocks, and lots of predictable skipping over logs (keep the ski tips up!)       

 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
8600' WNW aspect
Snowpack of slope with lots of large cracks
Slope with lots of large cracks
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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