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Gray Butte always offers a great picture of avalanche issues on a storm day. So we went on a tour again. Here is what we saw:
- Height of new snow (HN): 30 cm (12 in).
- Height of snow (HS): 190 cm (75 in).
- Wind: calm to light, southerly.
- Column tests: ECTP 11x3 SC ↓ 35 cm, failing below a thin, rotten ice crust on small (< 1mm) angular grains and old broken precipitation particles; west facing, 8,000 ft.
- Wind drifts up to 60 cm (24 in), but no wind slabs had formed. Some soft, thin storm slabs / loose-dry sluffs could be triggered on test slopes near 40 degrees.
Some notable column test failures were seen on a west facing aspect near 8,000 ft below a rotten, thin ice crust sitting atop a granular, weak layer. This configuration seemed to be an anomaly and was not seen elsewhere on similar aspects.
It was hard to distinguish storm slabs from sluffs. One could argue over the semantics, but on slopes near 40 degrees, you could get some snow to move downhill, though the releases were thin and inconsequential.