We toured around multiple aspects in the June area to get a hold of the distribution and sensitivity of today’s wind slab problem and assess how much snow is available for stronger winds to transport tomorrow – all with the persistent slab problem in the back of our minds.
Increasing clouds. Strong sun through the late morning and early afternoon had no effects on the snow on solar aspects. Winds may have decreased by early afternoon. We saw fewer areas of blowing snow on the drive home.
Above the headwaters of Deadman Creek, South of the Hourglass
NE 9600 ft.
|D1||SS||S-New Snow||6 inches||
|4-finger plus slab. 40 ft wide and 10 ft downslope. The test slope was near treeline on a convex roll - the sidewall of a gully.||None|
We stomped around in a windward fetch and got 30 cm boot penetration through F to 4F decomposing/fragmented grains. Solar aspects were scoured to wind board or sastrugi above treeline, melt-freeze crusts near treeline. We found spotty crusts near and below treeline interspersed with 4F-F snow available for transport. Winds were pulling snow from all the way down in low elevation sheltered windward slopes.
We didn’t dig for the persistent weak layer, though we probed around for it on a northeast aspect near treeline and felt our probes fall through a stiff layer into a softer layer between 220 and 250 cm below the surface. Given that we dug on a similar aspect and elevation in the area before the most recent storm and found the layer down 140 cm below the surface (before an additional 2-3 feet of new snow) I would bet that the soft layer we found is the PWL. We didn’t get any collapsing or other signs of instability from this layer in our tour.