Toured up North Broken Leg Mountain to map the crust generated by the big thaw last week and see how things are holding up. Suffice to say the crust was everwhere and supportable making travel actually pretty easy. Not the day to let the skis run however. A better day to reflect on how easy it is to check your speed in nice deep powder.
Was able to confirm the paths of the long wet loose slides on the south aspect of Crater Mountain (photo) viewed with binocculars from the valley floor on 3/3. No other notable slides were observerd.
Temps were cool and the sun was shining. All the mayhem occurring during the thaw was frozen in place for easy inspection but had begun to warm on SW aspects by ~12:00
So, for the crust hunt:
4100' 10cm firm crust over wet packable snow. Total snow depth (TSD) really getting thin down at this elevation. NW aspect
4500' 7cm firm crust over moist packable snow. 62cm TSD. A micro-dusting of new snow NW aspect
4800' 6cm firm crust over a 6cm less firm layer and moist below that. 80cm TSD. About the only place the crust would fracture under the skis. A dusting of new. NW aspect
5200' 6cm firm crust over ~10cm of firm windpacked snow (this is sort of a windy spot) Moist below that. ~1cm of new. WSW aspect
5350' 4cm crust over snow that seemed a bit drier. 1cm of new. ~100cm TSD. WSW aspect
5670' 3cm crust linked to a couple other (windboard?) layers below (photo) over dry-moist snow. This is also a bit of a windy spot. SW aspect (pit dug nearby)
6000' Thicker but less firm 8cm crust with similarly dry-moist snow below. 2cm of new. SW aspect Softer skiing and actually leaving tracks up here!!!
6150' Similar 8cm surface crust layer with 2 cm of new with a VERY small fraction of surface hore visible under the scope. SW aspect on ridgetop.
Confirmation of wet loose slides viewed from a poor angle on the valley floor on 3/3 (see photo)
Forecast Hotline: 406.257.8402
Call or text an observation: 406.66AVYOB