Payette Powder Guides staff Ian Faurot and Andy Keck traveled up Lick Creek Canyon on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022. We toured up into the area known colloquially as 8302/Potlicker Point/Cathedral Rock. Our objective was to investigate how the new snow was bonding to the old snow surfaces, look for any slab formation, and assess slab reactivity and sensitivity.
We observed continual whoomphing above 6500’ on our up track. We performed multiple snowpack tests throughout the day, which are listed below.
On an east aspect at 7000’ we performed a compression test and two ECTs. We got CTM SP @22cm down, ECTP 14 @35cm down (two times)
On a north aspect at 7600’ we got CTM RP @20cm down, ECTX.
Throughout our ascent we performed multiple hand shears. We concluded that below 6500’ the new snow seemed to be bonding well with the old snow. Above 6500’ we found a small crust (3/12) that caused much easier, planar shears. Also we found a pronounced mid-storm density change that broke in a planar fashion throughout the elevation bands, and was generally about 20cm down.
Our HN was 29cm at 7000’ on Lick Creek Summit.
We have evidence of a persistent problem in the snowpack. We have ECTs showing propagation. We have widespread whoomphing. We have reports of remote-triggered avalanches. We have 4 yellow flags in the snowpack on the 3/12 crust layer. This 3/12 crust is not evident everywhere and there is a bit of variability and uncertainty within the top 45cm of the snowpack.