12/17/2019 Huntington Ravine: Fan, Odell’s, Diagonal

By Josh Linker | UMass Outing Club

Date of Observation: December 17, 2019  12:00 PM
Location of Observation: Huntington Ravine: Fan, Odell’s, Diagonal

Snow (above Dec. 14/15 crust) leading up the fan to Odell’s, and within the gully itself, was unconsolidated, ranging in depth from 0″ to ~8″, mostly in the lower end of that range. Crust was ~2″ deep in places, but consistently soft/porous enough to be easily penetrated by ice tools in dagger mode.

Snow (above crust) in Diagonal was unconsolidated, ranging from 0″ to ~12″, mostly in the lower end of that range. Crust was ~2″ thick in places, but soft/porous enough to be easily penetrated by ice tools in dagger mode.

Snow (over crust) directly below the large ice flow at the bottom of Diagonal was ~10″-14″ deep and somewhat wind-effected. We observed slight cracking under foot. Blocks cut out of the slab held together well enough to be picked up. CT did not result in fracture.

The lower section of the fan had some running water and holes disguised by snow bridges.


ABOUT THESE OBSERVATIONS

Snowpack observations are one part of the complex puzzle which is your decision to enter avalanche terrain. Some observations may include stability tests. It’s important to understand that the results of a stability tests are seldom conclusive anywhere, but particularly in snow climates and terrain like ours where the primary driver of instabilities is wind drifted snow. Many stability tests exist and each works best with specific avalanche problem types. Stability test results should never be used alone as an indication that a slope or conditions are safe particularly when more obvious red flags are present. Please use this page as part of your information gathering process, but don’t make decisions based on a single piece of information. A good article that summarizes some of the issues associated with snow and avalanche observations can be found here.

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