Mineral Fork December 17th 2012. As I gained elevation today I wanted to track the Facet/Crust layer. My goal was to find out how high I needed to travel before the crust could no longer support my weight. (Unsupportable)

The Facet/Crust sandwich became very unsupportable at about 8500ft in elevation. I decided not to climb any higher in elevation than 8800ft due to the steeper terrain above. Everything below 8500ft was a bomber supportable rain crust with about a foot of settled snow on top. Mineral Fork seemed to be a good mid elevation representation of our snowpack.

Bottom line, As the snow piles up on top of this Facet/Crust layer I would expect the snow to overload the weakness. This Facet/Crust layer is tricky, because the snow pit tests are variable, meaning, sometimes it would fail above the crust or at times below the crust. More important then where it failed, is that we are seeing full propagation a crossed the column. Meaning that if I can collapse the weak layer the slab will continue to propagate from there. (Triggering An Avalanche)

If the weather forecast comes together for snowfall and water weight, we would see natural and human triggered avalanches become more likely.

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