January 28, 2023 - January 28, 2023
January 28, 2023
Clancy Nelson | ESAC Forecaster
Zone or Region:
Bishop Creek - Variable Surfaces, Weak Facets
With limited time we went to the home ski hill to practice our rescue skills and look at the snowpack before active weather returns to the region.
- At the risk of sounding preachy: practice with your beacon! “We do not rise to meet our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” I try to run through a beacon drill once a month. If you regularly go into the backcountry, I recommend it.
- We found variable, wind-hardened surfaces from sastrugi to 2 cm breakable crust, to 10 cm hard wind board. We found near-surface facets under these wind affected surfaces everywhere we looked on shaded slopes near and below treeline. In isolated areas in the trees we found facets at the surface with 30 cm of boot penetration. Solar aspects had been worked over by the sun multiple times.
- No signs of instability today. We’re primarily focused on how well developed near-surface facets are becoming on northerly aspects prior to the return of winter weather. See snow profiles for detailed information.
- A north aspect of Jawbone Canyon slid D2.5 during one of the early January AR events. The debris broke small trees.
Descending required caution with breakable crust and teeth-chatteringly hard wind board.