BC Zone Observation Report
Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 12:00 AM
Current Creek east facing slopes near Hidden Knoll
Temperature around freezing. Windy and colder above treeline. Partly cloudy, with some solid cloud cover and then some sun showing through the high clouds. Seemed like it might snow for awhile but then the sun poked through. It was getting pretty warm below treeline with the sun out.
The snowpack was crusty with a couple inches of fresh on top. Maybe 4-5 inches deep where it was deposited by wind in depressions/gullies. In some places above treeline it was baked and refrozen hard crust under the fresh snow. The snow surface was starting to turn punchy around 11 AM but it still wasn't too mushy.
We decided to try skiing a short steep slope below treeline that we always see on the way up to Moonlight. We skied to the top and one person (me) went first. The top few feet seemed to be between 35 and 40 degrees and the rest of the slope around 35-ish degrees. Note that on the slope angle shading that Caltopo does this doesn't really show up as anything above 30 degrees (I circled the slope in green on the map). As soon as I went over the lip the snow started sloughing/sliding. It was very shallow, just the top few inches of snow. Underneath it felt like ice, so that provided a slick sliding surface. I traversed to my right and was able to keep skiing, but set off another shallow slide. I skied to where the slope flattened out. It felt pretty minor when I was skiing, more like sloughing, but when looking back it looked more like a very shallow wet slab with a debris pile of about a foot deep. One lesson from this is that my friends were a couple feet back from the lip of the slope when I started off. None of us could hear the other shouting, even though we weren't very far apart, so we needed to be in actual visual contact.
I - New/Old Interface