Conditions from Todd Ridge up onto Broken Top Plateau

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Friday, Feb 24, 2017 10:35 PM
Pro Ob
Broken Top Area (44.069712, -121.681137)
Ob Date/Time:
Fri, Feb 24, 2017 - 10:01 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:
Ski or Snowboard

Written Report:
I toured through Todd Ridge and up to the East Ridge of Broken Top and then to Ball Butte. I found conditions similar to those described by Aaron. The storm slab problem appears to have largely abated and in the terrain I skied I saw little evidence of Wind Slab (I expect there are isolated pockets I didn't poke into particularly beneath cornices, which I avoided). I saw no cracking or signs of recent avalanches other than some cornice chunks on the south-west ridge of broken top (due to poor visibility I could not see the back of the bowl). I did a shovel tilt test almost adjacent to where Aaron and I found very easy results on Tuesday at Todd Ridge. Today it failed under moderate "loading" down 16 cm. where the snow became more dense... much different than the very weak layer from earlier in the week.

I skied descents on North and East aspects below and above treeline. All had soft unconsolidated snow. On some open south aspects below treeline, the new 3 cm. of snow overlaid a sun crust from the last few days. The newest snow is very cold, and might be a place to keep an eye out for faceting in the days to come.

The sky was overcast, and at times the clouds seemed to descend to the top of the runs (approx 8,000 ft.) and visibility became poor. Temps stayed well below freezing (see weather obs. below) and there were periods of light snow. The wind was light as I skied above treeline, and Moderate at ridge tops. There is evidence of previous blowing snow on the plateau but the blowing snow must have been minimal Thursday night as the latest snowfall is evenly distributed.

Weather Obs:
Todd Ridge, 10:00, 6770 ft., East
Overcast (enough sun getting through that I could see shadows), NO precipitation
Air temperature -7 C
Winds Calm, Blowing Snow NONE
Surface form/size: Stellars 2mm, New Snow 3 cm. overnight, Height of Snow 265 cm. Boot Penetration 45 cm.

Broken Top South-East Ridge, 12:45, 8200 ft.
Obscured Sky, Snowing very lightly
Winds Moderate from the South west

North Bowl of Ball Butte, 13:50, 7960 ft.
Obscured sky, snowing very lightly
Air temperature -9.5 C
Winds Light to Moderate from the South West with Previous Blowing Snow