Hayrick Butte Observations

Sunday, Mar 19, 2017 8:43 AM
Mike Maurer
Pro Ob
Mt. Jefferson Area (44.400679, -121.873398)
Ob Date/Time:
Sat, Mar 18, 2017 - 5:22 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:
Ski or Snowboard

Written Report:
For those of you who follow our Pro Obs through the season but still may be fairly new to back country skiing, Hayrick Butte next to Hoodoo represents terrain that is easily accessible with moderate to steep slopes where one could do some laps, practice transitions, practice snowpack analyses and terrain selection, etc. Today I spent the day on the NW and West aspects of Hayrick.

As expect and noted in Gabe's snowpack summary we saw moderate to heavy rain all day, then turned to snow in the afternoon. Winds were moderate to strong from the SW all day. Temps hovered around +2-4°C all day. Over several areas where we checked the snow, we found mixed buried crusts and one dominant 3-4 CM crust across the terrain. Because of the terrain shape and aspect at Hayrick, side loading is a common dynamic so the crust we found was buried as shallow as 35cm in some spots and as deep as 200 CM at others. Notably, in all cases the snow immediately above and below the crust when it was noted shallower than 100CM had no water saturation in it. We conducted several compression tests but saw no releases (CTN). In one isolated case we saw a very uneven break ↓ 30 CM at 27 hits. Despite some if the terrain having north aspects, we saw no cornices today on Hayrick.

All findings today continue to support the notes in Gabe's summary - melt forms and crusts in the upper snowpack, rounds below it. Surface issues will continue to be what we will be watching for. Looks like a rain/snow mix for Monday and Tuesday then the freezing level drops Wednesday which turns the mid week precip to all snow, and will mark when wind slabs may re-enter local discussions.

Weather & Snowpack
Temperature: 4°C Precip: RM Moderate rain Wind: Southwest @ 17-25 mph
New Snow: 0 cm Snow Depth: 245 cm Elevation: 4835 ft Aspect/Slope: Northwest / 39°