Public Observation #2023-1067
Submitted:March 5, 2023 9:51 PM
Observation Date:March 4, 2023
Zone or Region:Central Cascades
Signs of Unstable Snow
ObservationsWe skinned up south aspect of Devil's Hill after 12pm with light to moderate snowfall. Winds consistently blew out of the west and southwest, scouring south-facing aspects and creating wind lips and other wind-affected snow patterns near and below treeline, particularly in gaps and clearings. A couple of hand pits on south-facing, ~25 degree slopes below treeline resulted in non-planar breaks with minimal effort; several kick-turn stomps on similar slopes resulted in breaks consisting mostly of the newest 3-5 inches of snow without any propagation. These south-facing, wind-affected slopes exhibited some fracturing of the upper few inches of snow under our skis while skinning near treeline, but these cracks did not propagate, nor did snow slide beyond the direct displacement by our skis.
We avoided all east-facing aspects and chose to ski west- and southwest-facing slopes primarily under 30 degrees, with some short pitches in the 35-40 degree range. Westerly aspects skied well and did not exhibit any obvious signs of instability beyond surface sloughing of the newest 3-5 inches of light, unbonded snow near and below treeline.