Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sunshine! and Panorama Point Snow Pit

Howdy Everybody!
The sun is out and the temperatures are soaring: 49 at Paradise today! Come out and ski in your shorts.

This week's snow pit was dug just below the bathrooms at Panorama Point. Except for the surface, the top 100 cm of snow contains 6 layers that are all the same hardness and temperature and a mixture of rain crust, ice crust, and rounds. There was about 5 cm of heavy snow on top of a rain crust as of yesterday afternoon. By noon today there was a good 5 cm of slush on top.

Stabililty tests for the snow pit were as follows:
STH @ (15cm) Q2

The weekend forecast shows a drop in the freezing level (finally) and some snow headed our way!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mazama Bowl Snow Pit

Well here it is...a snow pit featuring the infamous 'MLK crust'. As of January 19th, the crust has yet to freeze solid, and with the recent and forecasted warm temperatures, it's unlikely to do so any time soon.

Stability tests performed on Sunday, Jan. 25:
Alta Vista, Aspect 90o; Slope 30o; evel 5800'.

CTH(22) @ 30cm Q3
STM @ 10cm Q3

Also, there were 4 to 5 loose snow slides (sluffs off the south face of Panorama Point. These point-releases resulted from the intense sun melting and weakening the top layer of snow and occurred on  Saturday, Jan. 22 around 'high noon'.

Tuesday and Wednesday (1/25 and 1/26) should be mostly sunny and warm, so come on up to Paradise and enjoy some spring skiing in January!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wacky Weather!

We all thought La Nina was going to give us a cold and wet winter with lots of snow and great skiing.  Well, there have been some good days of skiing at Paradise, of course, in the last month, but there's been a lot of wild weather.

We're currently on the tail end of a 7" rain storm at Paradise.  It was raining at times, clear up to 9000 feet.  Fortunately, no major flooding damaged any roads (so far).  We're planning on opening the road to Paradise today, after keeping it closed yesterday, due to avalanches (both snow, rock, and mud), flood, and rockfall potential.

Ranger Drew Bryenton dug a pit last week.  Look for more full profiles from Drew.  We'll post them here as well as on the NWAC website.  Here's the January 11th, full profile / before all this rain.

Currently, the rain has switched to snow.  It's sticking to the old rain surface pretty well.  The new snow density is about 40%...  Not good skiing, but good for stability.

There are some scheduled climbs this week.  I hope to hear back from them so stay tuned.

~ 2 hours later:  Just got back in from digging around for avalanche stability along the road to Paradise:

Date/Time: 1/17/2011 ~ 10:00am
Elevation: 5250
Slope: 49deg
Aspect: 170degT
Weather: Snowing
Temp: 32F
Lat: 46.781244
Long: -121.743672


SST (Shovel Shear) - STE @ 35cm Q3 (Weaker waterlogged snow just collapsed).
CT (Compression Test) - CTE(5) @ 35cm Q3 (Weak snow collapsing)
ECT (Extended Collumn Test) - ECTX (No propogation across collumn / shovel only plowing down)
RB (Rutschblock Test) - RB3 @ 35cm Q3 MB (Weaker snow collapse / no shear surface).