Observation: Middle Fork Corridor- 26 Dec.

From: Brad Lamson
Date: Wednesday December 26
Time: 1200
Location: Middle Fork Corridor (Essex)
Activity: Skiing

Snowpack Observations:
Went for a walk out of Essex up to Marion Lake and poked around a bit.
The new snow from the last week is settling out with ski penetrations up to 30cms and the trail breaking is becoming much easier. The wind has stayed in the light to moderate range helping to further preserve the snow quality. All in all ski conditions remain great. Just a few observations:
• No avalanche activity observed or signs of instabilities.
• Snow quality remains best in sheltered areas that have not been affected by the wind. There were moderate winds back during the week of the 17th, this event is know buried under 30-50cms from the latest storm snow.
• We found this layer in several hand pits dug along the ridge tops/divide. This layer sits on top of decomposing facets/surface hoar. Buried now by a total of 50-70cms.
• Performed one ECT on a South aspect, 7000’, 34* slope – ECTN. This slope drops into Essex Creek. You can still find the above interface but is becoming more difficult to detect.
• Ski quality was great away from the main Middle Fork Divide, since the wind apparently affected terrain that was more exposed in the alpine areas. The latest round of fresh snow fell with little to no wind.
• Lot’s of ski tracks in the Marion Basin, but interestingly enough did not see any snow pits/stability test along the up tracks???
Looks like a great start out there for the upcoming new year. Enjoy!!!