Christian and I were curious about how the base of the snowpack was looking in Avalanche Bowl, so dug two quick pits in that area. The first pit was about 70 meters to skiers right of the ‘summit’ of Avalanche Bowl.
This area is generally one of the weakest areas around (due to surface hoar formation and wind loading), but at this time had minimal faceting at the base of the fairly shallow snowpack (HS=65cm). There was only about 10cm of moist facets at the base of the snowfall from the last 10 days and they were quite strong. The second pit was at the top of the old crown noted by Patick McDermott in his profile from 10/30/13. (see Snowpit Details Tab under the Weather and Snow Data Menu at jhavalanche.org http://www.jhavalanche.org/viewPits.php ).
The crown was well filled in by new snow and was located in the far south end (skier’s right) corner of the bowl. The basal facets there were larger and less wet.
We had one localized collapse on approach, but by and large the layer had adjusted to the new load and was not propagating. -by Don Sharaf