fbpx TFJ avalanche and snow conditions | Central Oregon Avalanche Center (COAC)
Intense precipitation
Observation Date/Time:
Tue, Feb 23, 2021 - 5:45 PM
Markus Allgaier
Santiam Pass Area (including Three Finger Jack) / 6000'
Report Type:
Snow Conditions   No Avalanche Activity  
Travel Mode:
Ski or Snowboard  

Written Report:
We skied out towards Three Fingered Jack with the goal of pursuing some low angle powder turns on east facing runs. Strongly windpressed snow with occasional large snow drifts on the W facing approach.

We dug a pit and did a compression test near the ridgeline on an E facing slope. Snow depth is literally bottomless (a 320cm probe didn't reach), there's about 3ft of fresh snow with variable hardness from the last 2 storm days. We got a reaction after CT4 (top 8 inches went pretty easily) and again at CT27 from about 40" down, with a sudden collapse of a sugary layer in the previous storm's snow, similar to observations we made over the past 2 weeks.

From the first reaction of the column alone we decided to definitely stay clear of steep runs, especially since snow depth and amount of wind influence varied strongly even on the same run.

On the mellow run we did ski the turns were phenomenal, easily the best of this winter.