South Fork Eagle River – Peak 4641
Red flags (obvious signs of instability):
- Small, D1 human triggered wind slabs on isolated, wind-loaded terrain features
- Pluming and wind loading observed on higher peaks (6000’+)
- Mostly cloudy with light winds (at least around Pk 4641) and temps in the 20s
- Melt-freeze conditions below ~2500′
- Fresh, wind-affected snow above ~2500′ ranged from very pleasant, slightly wind-buffed powder to stiffer, but still carve-able, wind slab
Peak 4641, ~3250′, N aspect, ~35 degree slope, ECTX (handpit column tests to ~3700′ revealed a faceted layer in top ~2′ of snowpack that required moderate force to release). Medium volume, but slow moving sluff on steep northerly terrain. Stiffer, more wind-affected snow in big west facing bowl; snow was still carve-able, but grabbier and less smooth; no reactivity where we skied, but potential for wind and persistent slab problems exist.