Hakuba Snow Report Jan 12th

Snow Stabiliy Information:

The sun crust of January 4th is still proving to be a weak layer now under 20 – 60cm of wind effected new snow. Facets were found above and below the crust Sunday in 3 pit locations all dug on solar aspects in the Tsugaike shizen during the Evergreen Outdoor Center Avalanche Safety Training course. Compression tests found easy results in the top wind effected new snow and moderate results just above the crust with the new lighter snow not bonding to what might be buried surface hoar or developing facets.
Recent high winds in the alpine from the North West means that all the recent new snow will be wind deposited on to the South and East aspects on top of that bomber sun crust. Be very careful of lee slopes and take due care in cross loaded Northerly terrain and when entering into lee slopes from scoured ridges or convex terrain.

Areas of deep snow pack will have greater stability than the thin shoulders and areas where overnight radiation of heat has created near surface faceting and faceting crystals around the areas of shallow crust. Big alpine bowls may be slow to stabilize and may propagate very wide due to the very tensile nature the present wind effected alpine snow pack.

Continued caution around cornices should be practiced and these areas avoided all together. CORNICES ARE VERY FRAGILE!

Heavy snow fall and increased possibility of surface avalanches.
Heavy snowfall
Suffocation by falling face first in to deep powder
High danger of falling snow from rooves
High density new snow over lower density snow layer
Steadily increasing air temperature
Cornice fall
Radiative cooling of snow surface causing low density snow and frost at surface
rapid settlement of surface snow causing load on buried weak layers
Increased caution advised around rocky outcroppings‚ cliffs and well spaced trees in start zones.
Development of cornices in lee slopes
Lee side loading
Windward scouring of ridges and rock out-crops creating uneven loading of slopes
Due caution on cross loaded slopes
Surface hoar frost created overnight
Poor bonding at or around buried crust
Facet layer around buried crust
Wide propagation due to wind slab
Due caution in steep and convex terrain

Danger level 4 : High

Natural and human triggered avalanches likely.

Danger level ratings are set for conditions at tree line
and may varry from below tree line and High Alpine areas.
Use this ingormation as a guideline only.