Dust is better than Crust!

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Wednesday, Jan 10, 2018 2:33 PM
Pro Ob
Three Sisters Area (44.006431, -121.647491)
Ob Date/Time:
Wed, Jan 10, 2018 - 2:05 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:
Ski or Snowboard

Written Report:
It sure is nice to have a little winter weather! I skied on Tumalo Butte this morning. It was cold and snowing lightly until about 12:30. There was 1 - 3 inches of new snow over a carvable crust. I didn't find there to be a Wind Slab avalanche problem in the start zones of the Tumalo Bowl (East aspect), although there was a thin strip of wind loaded snow (approx. 15 cm. thick) along the northern edge of the bowl as there often is (think climbers left of the usual skin track back up). This is evidence of previously Light blowing snow from the west wrapping around the Butte.

Similar to Jonas' and Aaron's most recent observations the top 20 cm. or so of snow is a mix of alternating crusts and soft snow. This is from our recent showery weather where precipitation has been alternating between rain and snow, and temperatures have been jumping above, then dipping back below freezing.

By 13:00 the light snow had turned to more of a mist and my goggles were riming as I skied back to the car. The temperature was still below freezing (-3.5 C on the summit).

Weather @ 11:10, 7410 ft., West:
Overcast, snowing S-1
Air Temperature -4.5 C
Wind was Calm with Light gusts from the West and Blowing snow was NONE
Snow Surface was 2mm Needles. There was 4 cm. of new snow. The height of snow was 105 cm. and Boot Penetration was 15 cm.

@ 7200 ft. East:
A shovel tilt test failed 8 cm below the surface on a layer of disintegrating fragments
Compression tests produced a Break and then Progressive compression with hard results in the previously faceted layer down 55 cm. This layer was 4 finger + hardness.