NE Snowfield Rain Crust

By Jonathan S Shefftz | NSP

Date of Observation: December 22, 2019  11:00 AM
Location of Observation: NE Snowfield

The new snow was in abundance all the way along the Cog tracks, allowing continuous skinning from the parking lot to the auto road crossing, with some really nice skiing from below the transformer portage (i.e., a few hundred vertical above Jacob’s Ladder) to below Waumbek Tank.
The NE Snowfield though was something like 95% rain crust. Only time in my life I’ve had to boot crampon back up it instead of skinning.
Some more details and pics here:
https://www.strava.com/activities/2949868340
… although the picture of my partner skiing the snowfield is unintentionally misleading, as I happened to catch him kicking up some of the rare soft snow.


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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