Ball Butte

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Friday, Apr 12, 2019 5:57 PM
Aaron Hartz
Pro Ob
Broken Top Area (44.060958, -121.669292)
Ob Date/Time:
Fri, Apr 12, 2019 - 5:11 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:

Written Report:
Around noon, the sun made an appearance. Any slope that was in the sun started cooking and the snow surface was heavy and wet. Around 1:30pm the clouds moved back in, the air temp dropped to -1.5C (29F), and a crust started forming on the surface.

Overall, the east aspects of Ball Butte were much less wind affected than I expected. There were some isolated pockets of wind slab. I did not experience any cracking or slab breaking loose while skiing across the wind slab. There were small cornices on parts of the ridge above east facing slopes. Most of the east facing slopes were smooth. Some debris from a cornice fall and/or small windslab was visible on the east side of Moon Mt.

I dug into the snowpack to check for the slushy, weak snow that has been reported recently. It was much less pronounced above 7200ft on Ball Butte compared to lower areas. Down 1 meter (3ft) in the snowpack I found several rain crusts and a 5cm (2") layer of weak melt forms (old slush) between layers of old storm snow. In this area, I don't foresee an avalanche stepping down into these layers but could still be a concern where layers of the old wet snow are more pronounced.

Ski quality was ok even though the snow was heavy.
Temperature: 2°C Sky: Broken skies Precip: S-1 Very light snow Wind: West @ 1-16 mph
Snow Depth: 320 cm Elevation: 7280 ft