We rode snow machines in until avalanche debris off of the east slopes above the road blocked our progress. We transitioned to skis and skinned up to Rock Creek Lodge where we dug a snowpit on ENE aspect at 9470', slope angle was about 37 degrees. Snow was very light (S-1). Wind was blowing snow rather easily, and started as moderate with some stronger gusts out of the North, but turned more Southerly by the afternoon. Air temperature was recorded at -12 Celsius.
Snow pit tests results;
Total depth of snow measured at 235cm. We had finger hardness until 40cm, then a pencil hardness layer at 45cm. Below this pencil layer we found fist hardness until finger hardness to about 90cm. Our column test and extended column test both failed at the 45cm pencil layer, and the fracture broke (Q3).
CTM / CT11
These failures in the columns seemed to fail on that persistent layer from last weeks storm.
On our way down Rock Creek Road, we observed a bit of avalanche debris that ran for 300-400 yards as one big slide that ran over the road and a bit below. The crown of the slide was viewable from the road, with noticeable trees bent, split, and fallen. With about a 50 yard break, we then came up on another slide that was covering the road, and carried down off the road. An exciting day.