Mother Nature's Hoar (Part 2)
Following up on last week's report of the potential of depth hoar, we took and research to the steep and deep back in Mount Jefferson to see first-hand what kind of base was developing in the snow.
Just as we related last week, there was a weak layer of snow that has a potential of being a problem throughout the winter. Any west facing ridge also was blown clean by the wind, leaving a very thin layer of snow covering the ground and exposing rocks.
There was good snow on north-facing slopes above 7,500 feet elevation. This made for good riding. But it's obvious the area needs much more snow depth.
Until we get more snow, riding at best is marginal. However, once we get the snow, we need to pay attention to that weak layer of snow that can cause potential slab slides.
A lot will depend on when we get snow, how much snow falls, and the composition of the snow (moisture content) before we know if Mother Nature will solve her depth hoar problem. Until then, be patient, smart and safe.
SnoWest Newsletter - December 15, 2011