Huntington Ravine, reactive wind slab and scouring
By Ryan Matz | MWAC Forecaster
Date of Observation: January 4, 2019 11:00 AM
Location of Observation: Huntington Ravine, below northern gullies
Variable upper snowpack- Pockets and larger areas, particularly in Central, Pinnacle, and especially Odell, of recently formed wind with significant areas scoured to hard, supportable crust.
Wind slab was touchy though thin and small in observed locations, which were limited to the Fan and area below the Northern Gullies. Two key layers were observed in wind deposited snow above the crust, a slightly stiffer and cohesive layer over a slightly softer and less cohesive layer. This structure allowed hand shears to repeatedly fail on isolation. We expect this structure to be consistent for thicker, larger areas of wind slab where it would certainly be a concern.
Of note, it is difficult to visually discern the areas scoured to crust from the areas of wind slab. Differing angles, lighting, and of course proximity currently make a big difference in a person’s ability to identify areas of wind slab from the crust which is currently bright white.