We rode from the Sawtell Road up to Mount Jefferson then through to upper Hell Roaring Creek on a tour of the range and accident sites with three members of the Fremont County SAR team, Randy, Nick and Justin. The ride was a beautiful traverse of the range. There was one very large natural avalanche that failed a week earlier on Mount Jefferson and several others that broke during the last loading event. We dug a couple of snowpits, finding a DEEP (200-230 cm HS) and mostly stable snowpack (ECTXs). Brett Rasmusen found a layer of NSF in the head of the White Elephant drainage and an avalanche nearby at Lionhead is indicative of a more widespread weak layer 1-2’ under the surface. LOW / MODERATE seemed appropriate on deeper instabilities, but with anticipated loading, we must communicate the concern about this new weak layer and the potential for large avalanches breaking in the upper part of the snowpack.
Location (from list)
Title of your observation
Avalanche Activity in Centennials, Mt Jefferson
Doug Chabot and Dave Zinn