Due to the Thanksgiving holiday and the AAC being a 100% volunteer effort there won’t be a more thorough update until the first week of December. Give thanks, imagine Front Range cold smoke in your near future, and play safe out there considering the early season snowpack.
Northerly winds have ramped up since our most recent deposit of fresh snow, which could have been up to a foot in some alpine areas. That potential foot of loose, easily transportable snow has been widely re-distributed by strong northerly winds. Expect wind slabs on lee slopes and cross-loaded terrain. The potential for other, more consequential instabilities deeper within the snowpack are also still present and likely more susceptible than as evidenced in recent posts due to new snow and strong winds. (Sat. 11/30)
South Fork Eagle River – North Bowl
Signs of instability:
- Localized whoomphing/collapsing of snowpack
- Small recent avalanche in the Hunter Pass terrain trap
- Snowpit test results indicating numerous instabilities within the snowpack
Mostly cloudy with light northerly winds and temps in the mid to upper twenties.
In general, the South Fork snowpack is variable beyond any sort of concise description. The top 500-600′ of North Bowl is good, deteriorating to variable below.
The first photo, two videos, and snowpit graph tell the story of what’s going on in the snowpack on the approach to North Bowl, above Hunter Pass where the slope angle steepens and the snowpack becomes thicker and more consistent (the crux of the approach – if there is one).
The third video and the second snowpit graph tell the story of what’s going on in the snowpack just below the North Bowl summit ridge (right around where you’d drop in to ski). Edit to video narration: no ECT’s were conducted, just CT’s.
Despite concerning stability test results, two runs down the steepest section with a jump off the cornice produced no avalanche activity:
Coverage getting thin this low into North Bowl:
Harp coverage as of 11/25/13:
Two Bowls coverage as of 11/25/13:
Lynx coverage as of 11/25/13:
Three Bowls coverage as of 11/25/13:
Looking up South Fork and Ship Creek, with coverage of French and Swiss Bowls:
The Ravens agreed: North Bowl is the place to be:
You can compare what was found today to what was found almost two weeks ago in the November 13 observation.