Ball Butte/Todd Lake tour

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Saturday, Apr 22, 2017 9:10 PM
Aaron Hartz
Pro Ob
Three Sisters Area (44.063959, -121.672897)
Ob Date/Time:
Sat, Apr 22, 2017 - 7:52 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:
Ski or Snowboard

Written Report:
I toured into the southern most east facing bowl on Ball Butte. The surface was a melt freeze crust that was mostly supportable. I could see some small loose wet debris, most likely from yesterday, on some of the steeper east facing slopes. There are a few sections of large cornice on the ridge above the bowl. There were no obvious windslabs on the east facing slopes. The wind was moderate out of the WSW and occasionally shifting and blowing from the south. There was a trace amount of blowing snow and a very light snowfall. I did not encounter any signs of unstable snow. The visibility shut down for a while and I descended to Todd Lake.
The crust was absent at Todd Lake. The top 20cm of snow was soft melt form crystals. Ski conditions at Todd Lake were fair but the snow became more mushy with time. I measured the air temperature to be 2C (36F) at around 1pm.
I did not see any loose wet slides happening today, but I expect they were happening on steep terrain below treeline.
The air temperature will be dropping tonight and we might see a few inches of snow falling over the next few days. With the wind forecast to be out of the W-SW we might see some new windslab development on N-E slopes once the snow starts accumulating. The drop in air temperature should also alleviate the loose wet problem.