Went up Pine Creek for a tour in the Tungstar Bowls with the goal of getting into some higher alpine terrain and continuing to dial in the distribution of weak layers in the top half meter of the snowpack.
Ski penetration is less than 5cm except on protected north aspects below treeline. Ski crampons were used for most of the ascent.
Faceting in the upper snowpack on northerly aspects is widespread. It was observed from 8000′ up to 12500′. In most areas it is covered by a variety of strong surface layers including thin melt-freeze crusts, wind crusts, sastrugi and wind slab less than 30cm making it mostly supportable for skis.
In isolated areas where the facets are well developed and covered by a pencil hard 25cm slab porpagation was observed in the ECT (see attached profile). These areas are near and above treeline in north and north-east facing terrain that is wind protected and prone to loading from SW winds.
Gathering clouds and upper elevation north east winds limited warming air temperatures. I did not observe any signs of wet snow instability in Pine Creek today
22F @ 12,300' 2:00 PM
Moderate , NE
Increasing cloud cover and a high elevation north wind limited warming in N facing terrain in Pine Creek today.