AST 1 Avalanche Course

The crew moves out.


Dave gets major shooting cracks on another test slope as the crew looks on.


Everyone tries some quick tests on a small slope with known weakness.


Dave in the snowpit.

Dave finds an easily-triggered test slope, releasing on the faceted melt form crust from the last thaw.


Another natural release from the cycle of yesterday and the night before; shallow enough to likely have run on the density difference 30 cm down rather than the faceted melt form crust 170 cm down, but running full-length on its path.




The crew works on snow tests. The uppermost prominent layer was a density difference some 30 cm down, formed when the last storm went from fluffy unrimed stellar crystals to small plates and lightly rimed broken crystal fragments as the temperature dropped and the wind increased. The deeper layer of concern is the faceted melt form crust from the last thaw event and subsequent cold weather. It is still triggerable at some 170 cm depth, and propagates easily and cleanly as a Q1, sudden collapse, or sudden planar break. These layers are highly persistent and unpredictable, lulling people into a false sense of security until they release massively when the wrong spot is hit. Take care out there; just because people get away with riding big slopes with this weakness does not mean it is in any way “safe”!