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Ball Butte

Observation Date/Time:
Fri, Nov 20, 2020 - 3:57 PM
Javier C., Nick R.
Broken Top Area / 7730'
Report Type:
Snow Conditions  
Travel Mode:
Ski or Snowboard  
Height of Snow (HS):
145 cm

Written Report:
Sunny, calm, powdery and overall fantastic day at Ball Butte! Toured out from Bachelor and skied fun snow on North to East aspects. We managed to avoid most rocks, but they are still out there... so tread lightly.

Dug pit downslope from SE ridge. We expected to find some wind loading and wanted to check out the snowpack as it was our first day out. The top 20 cm turned out to be remarkably unconsolidated or wind affected. This stood true on every aspect we skied. There were some small density changes in the rest of the storm snow down to the rain crust. Nothing noteworthy below the crust. Compression results were CT16 and CT26 at 10cm and 25 cm below surface. Both resistant planar, emphasis on the resistant.

On the steeper more North facing slopes the density changes did become slightly more reactive in hand shears. We felt it was important to keep this in mind as we moved around, however nothing noteworthy materialized. Lastly, a skier before us did cause some very small dry loose slides in the upper 5 cm.

The skiing is fantastic right now. Very few signs of instability today on the terrain we skied. However, given how variable early season snow pack can be, we will still be moving cautiously through steeper, thin or rocky areas.

Side note: The snow depth in our pit is not representative. Depth changed dramatically with aspect and terrain.