Toured to Skook Peak (6,800 ft.) to check out the prevelance of wind slab and persistent slab problems in the southern Whitefish Range. Observed some loose-wet point releases on Skook chutes—likely from glorious Thursday 2/21. Below approx. 6,000 ft. on S-facing unshaded aspects, we observed a very delicate crust below a dusting of snow. Mostly, while skinning, we encountered unconsolidated snow in the top 15 cm with increasingly dense but soft snow beneath. Above approx 6,500 ft., where the tree coverage also opens up somewhat on the ridge, we started to see pockets of wind drifts—and then, at the top, cornices from both recent southerly and atypical northerly winds. I did not observe any shooting cracks or whumpfing. We dug a pit on the S aspect a few hundred feet below the ridgeline, where there were some facets developing on the surface. There didn’t appear to be a surface crust from sunny 2/21, or evidence of loading from the north winds. Total pit snow depth was 220 cm. We conducted a column test, CTH29 (PC) at 200cm. Due to time constraints, we skied back down our skintrack. It was soft and stellar.
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