February 7, 2016


South Fork Eagle River:

On Sunday, 2/7/2016 we skied Hanging Valley. On the approach to the couloirs the snow surface varied from solar crust, hard slab, soft slab, to settled powder. Once in the basin many large avalanches were visible. These happened before or during the last snow event and were mainly limited to the aprons of the coolies. One group had been in the zone on Saturday and skied the looker’s right line. They also entered the diagonal couloir on looker’s left, but apparently stopped due to stability concerns. We skied the 3 main coolies in the zone. Small pockets of thin and discontinuous wind slab were present within the lines. Ascending the lines boot penetration was often well above our waist. No obvious signs of instability were observed. The snowpack was generally right side up with the exception of the above mentioned thin wind slab. At the entrance of the diagonal couloir I stomped on a small wind pocket which broke. It was only about 10 feet wide and did not propagate down or across the slope. Skiing, I was actually quite surprised by the limited volume of slough despite the deep snow. No major surface hoar development observed.

~Mike Records