Todd Ridge and Broken Top Conditions

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Wednesday, Dec 5, 2018 4:46 PM
Pro Ob
Broken Top Area (44.055831, -121.693567)
Ob Date/Time:
Wed, Dec 5, 2018 - 4:00 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:
Ski or Snowboard

Written Report:
The recent cold temperatures have kept the skiing good for the early part of the week! The Easterly winds have wreaked less havoc than they typically do! I skied a quick lap at Todd Ridge before heading on to Broken Top. I found little in the way of current avalanche problems. It was a beautiful day to be in the mountains with soft sparkly snow, clear skies, and below freezing temperatures.

There is widespread surface hoar below treeline and extending into the alpine (check out the first picture). I found it as high as the plateau between Ball Butte and Broken top in all but the windiest locations. While surface hoar isn't a problem when it's on the surface (it's pretty awesome to ski through), it can become a persistent weak layer if it is buried by new snow. We'll keep an eye out to see if this is hanging around when new snow comes in. For more information on surface hoar check out:
Surface Hoar

I saw only the lightest evidence of previously blowing snow along the top of Todd Ridge. Even up along the Broken Top Plateau I was skiing through 10-20 cm. of soft snow. The most recent wind direction had been from the southeast. I found very isolated wind slab beneath cornices on the moraines east of Broken Top (picture 2). These slopes face due North. The col to the Bend Glacier had previously intense snow transport from the south-east, but in this one windy spot the wind had been strong enough that I couldn't find a wind slab problem on the upper reaches of the glacier.

Throughout my tour the wind was calm and light from the South East. The one exception being the col to the Bend Glacier where the wind was Moderate.

The temperature was -2.5 C at 7990 ft. at 1230.


Caption: Surface Hoar

Caption: Isolated Wind SLab