TREND: IMPROVING / ONGOING / DETERIORATING
OBSERVATION: So moving on from last week, and something that we had observed that was new to us was that depth hoar actually consumes surface crusts and turns them into facet crust. We bounced this off Mr Barker at Hotham and he confirmed that was easily and feasibly the case given this extended period of cold that we have been experiencing. Such a long time since we have had such a deep early (by our measure) winter snowpack that is showing all the characteristics like depth hoar growth to this extent.
The surface conditions are making for challenging, not particularly enjoyable conditions in most of the park at the moment. Rime ice shields studded with sastrugi on the North West aspects, hard packed south aspects. The cross loading of those favourite spots (South East) has sastrugi patches clinging to 35˚faces. On the South East faces Two weak layers noted across the board (Bogong / Feathertop and Hotham). One being the graupel layers between 30-60cm and then the interface with the early june snow. The polystyrene like hard layer above the graupel is bridging the hazards out so she's all apples for now on that side. The North and North West are the same in reverse. Crust hard packed windslab / drift formations sitting on bushes, rime, sastrugi. And everything in between for other aspects. Full Froth that...
OUTLOOK: Looking forward we are going to monitor the advance of this next series of cold fronts, particularly the onset. As you can see in the profile below there is a weak layer under the surface crust on most aspects. Wind loading on this would be less than ideal. Dare I say it, just a little rain would go a long way to dissolving (resolving) this hazard.
Always a big thanks to everyone who is helping make this possible through our membership kickstart and through our merchandise drive. Simon@MSC
The schedule for stability assessment reports will be Mondays. Locations are on or above tree-line and generally South East aspect, although this is conditions dependent.