February 12, 2010

Feb 11: Avy Tests

Nate Hansen and I went out to poke around in the new snow (5"), look at the Avy conditions, and try to ski some powder (which has been very elusive lately in the Wasatch).

Here's a video of our cornice cutting avy tests.

Avy Test from Jeremy Koons on Vimeo.
We cut a few cornices to see the reactivity of the snowpack.
5" of new snow, with a little more windblown snow on top.
Crusts everywhere, from warm preceding days.
The first cut produced nothing.
The second produced a small slide. 5-10" deep, ~60' wide, running not much more than 100', although the visibility was bad enough that we could only see ~100'.
The target slope was E-NE, just over 30 degrees.
The sliding surface was the old snow surface, not all the way to the depth hoar ground layers.
We were just East of Alta, SE of Rocky Point.

A ski cut on a small sample slope produces a slide. Due South facing, windblown dense snow on top of the suncrust. 4-10" deep. 40' wide. Ran not far at all.

The toe of the 'debris' pile. Not more than a foot deep.

Profile of the test slope. Small and forgiving.

In case you were wondering why all these photos are grey and ugly, it's because I'm trying to show you contrast and detail in the fractures. If I exposed it for a ski photo, it would look like this. Pretty (maybe), but you can't see the debris.

Oh yeah, we also skied a little bit. Jealous? Hahaha

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