View Full Version : Tetons
11-29-2004, 01:50 PM
Scary looking snowpack.
Any recent or new snow sits on a double layer of surface hoar, which lies upon a foot of near surface facets.
Lotsa sliding in these parts.
Sat, a skier (uninjured) was swept over the cliffs in that killed Joel Roof 4 years ago to the day, conditions are a near mirror image.
A December warmup with rain would be the snowpacks best friend at this point, cuz its gonna take one heck of a snowload to break these layers down.
Trackhead, Summiteers, and others do your homework before you ski a BC slope. Sketchy conditions will persist.
12-10-2004, 01:41 PM
In reply to: A December warmup with rain would be the snowpacks best friend at this point, cuz its gonna take one heck of a snowload to break these layers down.
Man, don't know how many years you have been around these parts, but this is the stupidiest comment I have heard...December warmup...pushing the limits...RAIN? First of all that would be the worst thing to happen to our snowpack and it doesn't rain in December squibby :tdo13:
Better ready Bruce Tremper's "Staying Alive in Avalance Terrain" chapter rain is BAD for snowpack.
I saw this posted on jhsnowobs and discussed it with some bro's in the valley...unadulterated laughter.
12-10-2004, 02:30 PM
Since we seem to have some disagreement on the effects of rain, maybe we can get a discussion on this...
What effect would the introduction of water into a shallow snowpack, layered with 10+ inches of depth hoar (in places) and multiple layers of NSF's have? And how could rain make the current situation any worse?
btw...its 48 in town and raining, in December! Never say never.
12-10-2004, 03:05 PM
The valley and the pass are completely different. I know it rains in the valley, but in all honesty bro...rain is bad for snowpack in a continental snowpack. Honestly, read Bruce Tremper's book, "Staying alive in avalanche terrain" He specifically points out that when you introduce rain to a snowpack that is bad...very, very, bad.
12-10-2004, 04:20 PM
Ive read Tremper's book and I understand the point you are making about rain.
As it stands now, it is irrelevant.
Since the election day facets persist shits gonna slide. agreed?
12-10-2004, 04:36 PM
As I made my daily commute over Teton Pass this morning, it was raining. Yup, raining at the TOP of the pass. :fm:
12-12-2004, 01:51 AM
rain is often destabilizing in the short term, but stabilizing in the long term, just like warm temps. I think that perhaps that is the point that Stanley (and Tremper, for that matter), was trying to state.
Whether or not it applies to the Teton snowpack right now is not for me to say. Just an observation from an outside...observer. I..appear to have stuck myselfy to...myself...
12-13-2004, 10:31 AM
I am sorry and will swallow my words about it raining in December. I was wrong, but I did not imagine in my wildest dreams that it would rain on Teton Pass this weekend (GloryBowl rain). It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. This is truly a weird season as far as snowpack is playing out. Way different than when it all started with Halloween Fluff.
12-14-2004, 08:50 AM
WySplit...is that your 2 Ocean writeup on Snowobs?
Went up Glory Sun am to recon all the recent activaty.
Worst day ever.
The Twin SLides crown was 4'ft. Ran on Election day facets. Scary thing is the ignorance of the skier. Debris (large blocks) rested 10' from the uptrack.
Good vis provided us views of av's in Avalanche (skier), 2 in E. Mail Cabin, Windy Ridge, S face of Taylor, Lil Tucks..
The recent rain crust was sketchy too. 4cm rain crust will hopefully form a solid bridge layer, but also provides a false sense of stability and hopefully people will remember what is underneath it.
Definatly will be interesing to see how this plays out, and what kind of trouble people get into when places like Granite are accessable.
12-14-2004, 02:56 PM
That was my skiing partner that wrote that up. I was on a different aspect when Two Ocean slid. We experienced the worst whoomphing and cracks that I have seen or heard this last weekend. I stuck to 26 degree slopes, southfacing, treed runs. Still experienced whoomphing though. Very, very scary. I was thinking of riding a few steeps, dug a pit beneath cliffs/couloir and got a Q1 on a compression test. I was being spotted and waved the rest of my group to stay in the safety zone while I hauled ass away from the dragons. Nothing ripped, but we played on gentle slopes.
I am coming over to ride Teton Pass on Sunday (Togwotee Sat.). Was thinking of riding Glory to Calvert's to Coal Creek, but it sounds pretty crappy right now...hummm...maybe Oliver.
Once again, I swallow my words...sorry dude.
12-14-2004, 03:49 PM
no worries or apologies are warranted.
it does seem like some decent avy dialogue is going on around here lately though.
I havent skiied Coal Creek yet. Sunday was the first trip up Glory. It will probably be pretty thin on the outtrack. I dont see Oliver being much better, except it will be quieter out there, hopefully things will change some between now and then.
12-15-2004, 06:52 PM
I skinned up Open Canyon today to check out the snowpack and do transceiver drills, etc.
This pit was at 8200' on a N-NE aspect. Slope angle=28 degrees. The snowpack was about 90 cm deep.
We didn't get a very early start, so we decided to dig our pit at mid-elevation. Mid-elev north aspects have had the most avy activity in the past week at the Village, so it seemed like a good spot to check out.
The rain crust was thinner than I expected for that elevation, so it probably won't provide much stability overall. It's too bad the rain didn't come before the 33 inch storm last week...
Everything in the snow pack down to the faceted layer at the ground is from last week's storm. It seems to be settling pretty well. I couldn't get a clean shear to break loose until the depth/surface hoar layers, so when things slide, they're gonna slide BIG! It sounds like a lot of the avys at the village (both explosive triggered and natural) failed at these layers or slid to the
It's a scary snowpack, and there isn't really a realistic weather event that'll change that. Be safe out there...
12-15-2004, 08:48 PM
I rode Thunder this morning with a snowcat operator. He said that the mid-mountain avies mostly slid on the October layer - and did not actually run to the ground. Not that there's any comfort in that. He also said that mid/upper mountain grooming is spooky right now.
I poked my pole through the inbounds snowpack a couple of times. Once you punch through the upper layer, it pretty much feels like air all the way to the ground.
12-16-2004, 12:47 PM
Suit-I was punching through the snow in the runout of Toilet Bowl the other day and it was the same story.
The pit I dug yesterday was pretty much the best case scenario for a NNE aspect. It was sheltered by trees, so didn't get wind affected or wind loaded like most of the higher elev. starting zones at that aspect. I was talking to a guide yesterday who dug a pit at around 10,000 on a NE aspect that was 320cm deep. He said there was still a lot of faceting at the ground. Thats a lot of snow deposition, considering we've only gotten 116" since October!
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