Still Seeing Collapsing and Cracking

Location Name: 
Wildy Bowl
Region: 
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 01/24/2018 - 12:40
Location Map: 
United States
36° 33' 45.0612" N, 105° 26' 29.5512" W
US


Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Obvious avalanche path

Observation made by: Forecaster
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Traveling is getting somewhat easier, however if you're heading out there plan on devoting those skis as you're early season rock skis.  Lots of ground hazards exist.  Nice to see people making some turns in the backcountry.  We checked out some near and above treeline like terrain where the new snow from Sunday had fallen on the old depth hoar.  We are still getting widespread collapsing and shooting cracks where you find depth hoar.  It's obvious that we went through a natural avalanche cycle during the storm with some debris still visibile.  

Instability is confined to those slopes where we had snow on the ground before Sunday.  It's been three days since the new snow and winds and warming is starting to give the snow more cohession.  It's somewhat spooky out there for a couple of reasons.  We have all the ingredients for avalanches in many places, with obvious signs like whumpfing, shooting cracks and collapsing, however the tricky part is identifying the slopes that had old snow (depth hoar) on it.  

Stability tests are still indicating that the depth hoar is reactive.  Ski pen in most places is to the ground.  We have not visited areas above treeline where we had supportable slabs before the storm, but they are out there!

We are already getting sun crusts on solar aspects, and at lower elevations very small wet loose avalanaches are releasing on steep cutbanks that are receiving direct sun.  Surface hoar and the start of near surface faceting has begun with the high pressure we're going through.  This isn't a concern right now, with no snow in the forecast.

Photo 1: ECTP 13 Sudden Plannar.  You can see how the new snow is gaining cohession and starting to act like a slab.

Photo 2:  The obvious depth hoar on the bottom with the new snow on the top.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
West
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

We noticed blowing snow on ridgelines.  Temperatures were really warming during the day, but snow is staying cold where you are not getting direct solar radiation.