March 29

Silver Fork

The morning weather forecast indicated a snow line yesterday at around 8500 feet, lowering to 6500.

This dictated a start at upper elevations. Traveling up the cat track into Grizzly Gulch, a snow pit on the road cut produced an easy shear at the interface between the old snow surface and the new snow. It also showed no rain crust layering at 8400 feet.

Arriving at the shoulder of the East bowl of Silver, a wind pillow required slope cut testing, producing a fracture on same snow pit weak layer. It didn't run very far and was only 15 feet or so wide.

A look back up after safely skiing from the shoulder revealed a good sized natural in the upper bowl. It probably ran during the higher precipitation rate at the peak of the storm.

Continuing on, it was noted that more shallow naturals had also ran on the north facing portion of the west bowl of Silver Fork drainage. The deep old crown from an earlier slide cycle remains partially visible.

The decision was made to continue into Days Fork via one of the steep gullies on the Silver-Days connecting ridge.

A careful entry from the top, aggressively hammering the snow, produced another slide.

This slide, somewhat larger, 40 feet of so wide, stepped down into older layering

A hand pit shows the old snow-new snow weakness overlying a one finger crust over some light density snow, possibly faceted and the reason for the step down of the slide.

The slide ran several hundred vertical, but wasn't packing much of a punch.

Further travel produced another small slide, initiated slope cutting, before exiting the area during a heavy afternoon precipitation event.