After a few weeks away from the NSW main range we were back in the snow again. The snowpack has consolidated and is fully saturated. Spring has swung into full effect and we will start to see wet slides and cornice falls. A new front looks to be hitting the main range next weekend with low freeze levels so we may see a top up.
No hand shear results but got Medium and hard CT results
CTM14 SC @31cm
CTH24 SP @77cm
Stay clear of overhanging wind features and enjoy the spring touring conditions
There is a heavy melt freeze crust on the surface (@11am) and doesn't look to soften with the colder daytime temps forecast today and for the weekend. Stormy weather rolling in as obs were being done. East CT results and easy ECT results @20cm on buried Surface Hoar. CT9 @70 cm as well on hardness change on Rounds.
There is forecasted snow coming in the PM today and continuing all weekend so it will be interesting to see if the new snow will bond to the melt / freeze crust .
There is a large storm due to in the PM today. This added weight on the snowpack will most likely see natural avalanches on steep loaded terrain. The Buried surface hoar below the 15cm of melt freeze will continue to be a issue moving forward so we will continue to monitor its bond strength.
Stay in simple terrain and steer clear of terrain traps and natural hang fire while skiing and touring. Enjoy the touring on the weekend and stay safe.
The landscape has changed with the last storm. 30-50cm of snow has fallen and the backcountry has a nice new layer of powder snow on it. The Snow continued late on Sunday and was falling at 1cm / hr in the PM. We had easy results on Hand shear and compression tests. CTE4SP@15cm on buried surface hoar. CTM16SP@31cm on buried surface hoar. CTH24SP@84cm on buried graupel. This deep result has changed since Friday when it was only collapsing, now its planar shearing. This deep persistent weak layer @84cm could be a concern on steep terrain so be careful on lee to the SW on slopes over 35 deg.
There is a large storm due to hit late Tuesday night. This added weight on the snowpack will most likely see natural avalanches on steep loaded terrain as the buried surface hoar will be very touchy.
Stay in simple terrain and steer clear of terrain traps and natural hang fire while skiing and touring. Let this storm cycle move through and enjoy the touring on the weekend.
The temps have be warm over the past few days. There is a melt freeze crust on the the surface and 60cm of new snow under that. That new snow is sitting on a 5cm layer of graupel sitting on a solid melt freeze layer from the last rain event. in that 60cm new snow layer there is buried surface hoar @20cm. We got CTE 2 SP @20cm on buried surface hoar. We also got CTE 9 SC @61cm on the buried graupel. No results from deep tap test .
We also got a ECTP 3 @ 20cm on the buried surface hoar. This means that we will have propagating slabs in the backcountry on loaded lee aspects on steeper terrain.
There is a large storm due to hit late Friday night but will start with rain and then turn to snow. Fingers crossed this bonds well to the melt / slush layer from today's warm temps. This added weight on the snowpack will most likely see natural avalanches on steep loaded terrain as the buried surface hoar will be very touchy.
Stay in simple terrain and steer clear of terrain traps and natural hang fire while skiing and touring. Let this storm cycle move through and enjoy the touring early in the new week.
Temperatures have fallen overnight and there was a large frost this morning. Winds have shifted from SE to SW and have increased. This is the beginning for the new front that will drop an estimated 30cm of precipitation over the weekend starting Friday.
The top layer of the snowpack is wet, but the layers from the past week have bonded well.
There is a strong temperature gradient in the top 60cm of the snow pack which wasn't there on Sunday. There is a persistent weak layer @55cm that is gives moderate sudden planner results. ETC didn't propagate as expected but there was a partial break on the same problematic layer at 55cm. If on steeper lee slopes this weekend remember that that layer may slide and it will be a slab about 50-60cm in size.
There's some big winds and then more snow, following tomorrows mini blizzard that will see the accumulation for 48hrs hit 30cm. Yellow flags... Temps are low, the freezing level is low thanks to a big bump from the south. Weekend snow play will be fun with more new snow landing. As per normal the wind will play a huge role in where the decent skiing / boarding will take place so pick you lee slopes and have fun.
Lots of rain from Saturday. Conditions on Sunday morning were very wet. Strong winds and warm conditions ment the snow surface was very wet. The snowpack feeling the effects of this recent rain. The strong temperature gradient seen over the past few weeks has disappeared. Some of the facet layers have morphed to rounds so the snowpack is becoming stronger. We had medium CT test on buried surface hoar at 28 cm. Around lunchtime the rain turned to graupel and then finally snow at about 2 : 30 pm. By the time we arrived back at the car there was 5 cm of new snow on the ground
There has been rain for the first time this year : (
There is 2cm of wet new snow sitting on a melt freeze layer which is 2cm thick.
We got easy results on CT on the 6th tap, down 32cm but it was poor shear quality. On the second CT we got Medium result, 18th tap at 42cm BRK as well.
Extended column test showed inconclusive results with a partial break on the column down 42cm.
With the storm heading our way we should be seeing 30-70cm over the 4 days starting Sunday.
We should see snow down to 1400 m at the beginning of the storm then it will lower down to 900m. Get out and enjoy , but remember it will be wet and sticky.
We folks it's hard and fast out there at the moment. With the cold night temps, the snowpack is very firm till the sun does its magic and softens up the top crust mid morning. There is a 20mm layer of melt / freeze on all aspect and only the solar aspects are worth skiing early in the day. With some snow heading our way it will be interesting to see if this top layer causes any issues if buried. Freeze levels look be falling Tuesday but there doesn't look like there's much moisture with these colder temps. Strong winds are also forecast for this week. The freeze layer falling on Friday looks to have some moisture with it, fingers crossed we get some snow for the weekend
Possible snow Tuesday and Friday looking forward. Fingers crossed for a fill in for the coming weekend. Get out there and enjoy the great early season snowpack and take advantage of the great conditions.
Was a great day out there today. No wind and blue bird conditions. day warmed up to 2 deg.
We found 10cm of fresh on the lee slopes.
Hand shear results on the ascent had medium test results down around 25cm at all elevations.
CTE3 SP @ 14cm
CTM14 SP @ 25cm
The slopes skied well today, the unconsolidated snow under the melt freeze layer is still there so traveling on anything other than Splitboard or Skis wouldn't be recommended.
Be careful on steeper slopes Lee to SW on anything unsupported.
Did some digging on a South East aspect @ 1729m.
Snowpack depth 59cm.
Had hard results on hand shear tests from 1680 to 1800m. these varied from 10cm planar results to 33cm breaks
The snow pack has a 2cm melt freeze layer.
Buried surface hoar is present at 16cm, 21cm and 31cm.
We were getting easy results on the bond above the surface hoar @ 16cm.
and medium results on the surface hoar @ 22cm.
See results below
CTE 3 SP @ 16 cm on Surface hoar
CTM 13 SP @ 22cm on surface hoar
Layer of concern is the interface at 33cm.
We will continue to monitor the buried surface hoar.
Did some digging on a East - South East aspect @ 1750m.
Snowpack depth 80cm.
Had easy results on hand shear tests from 1680 to 1800m.
The snow pack has a 25cm of new snow sitting on a 5mm layer of surface hoar. Buried surface hoar is also present at 45cm and 57cm.
We were getting easy results on the bond above the surface hoar at 43cm.
Wind slab forming on all aspects lee to the SW
See results below
Buried surface hoar present @ 25cm, 43cm and 57cm.
Crystal size 2 - 4 mm.
CTE 3 RP @ 43 cm on Surface hoar
ECTN 5 @ 43cm on surface hoar
Layer of concern is the interface at 43cm.
We will continue to monitor the buried surface hoar.
With more snow forecast for another 48hrs,the wind slab will become larger and more widespread.
Be careful on slopes lee to the SW above tree line on slope >30 deg.