A few notes from a few days skiing at the Jewel basin yurt. On Saturday 1/10, we dug two pits down to the New year double facet layer. One was on a N. face at the saddle by the electronic site (near the terminus of the Jewel basin road). Sandwich crust was buried about 80cm. Layer of concern was failure below the upper frozen surface hoar ECTP25. We also dug a pit in open trees on a W. facing aspect around 6,000 feet. Interestingly, we got consistent failures at 30 cm (about half way down to the New year double facet layer) at ECTP15. The facet layer (60 cm) failed at something like ECTN29. I was surprised by the intermittent layer. Presumably it will heal up quickly, but it was concerning enough to limit our skiing to very carefully manage anything over 35 degrees. Once it started snowing on Saturday, we were more concerned by the new snow, which up to 40 cm deep, and was wind effected enough to be hair trigger (shooting cracks everywhere and easy to trigger test slopes) on Saturday even well below treeline. New snow was starting to stabilize on Sunday, but we were still able to trigger small test slopes in the new snow.
Throughout our four days of skiing, we got some minor collapsing along ridges. I think that collapses were on the facet/ice crust layer where slopes were scored enough that our weight was sufficiently concentrated. Aside from that, we didn't get any audible collapsing of the New year facet layers. We saw a bunch of shallow crowns on very steep windloaded aspects prior to the new snow, but nothing that appeared to have stepped down to the New year layer or lower. Vis was poor enough from Saturday onward that we didn't make many more visual observations of naturals.
Overall, the forecast seemed to match our observations perfectly.
Forecast Hotline: 406.257.8402
Call or text an observation: 406.66AVYOB