Freeman Peak Conditions for December 8, 2018

Skiing at Mores Creek Summit continues to be fun and fulfilling. 

Freeman20181208 from Santiago Rodriguez on Vimeo.


 The weather was tranquil with no winds and obscured skies. Temperatures were pleasant at about -3 deg-C through the day.

During the last five days, a diurnal temperature cycle resulted in a 10 cm layer of near-surface facets that made skiing fun. A supportive layer of rounded/sintered crystals provided for a solid base to lets the ski run and not worry much about buried obstacles.

Southerly aspects were less welcoming to riding, with 2 cm thick breakable crust layer. We avoided any slope with any south on them.

Building the uphill trail was not too bad, considering the dense brush at elevations below 6500 feet. The parking at Freeman at 5800 feet. During one of the creek crossings, we got shovels out and build a snow bridge. We hope the constructed bridge to last until the next storm cycles allow for better natural snow bridges.

The snowpack development at Freeman is similar to Pilot Peak for the top 60 cms.

The difference between Pilot and Freeman is that Pilot has a 10 cm layer of basal facets at starting zones I checked between November 28 and December 3. In contrast, Freeman at some places did not have the basal facets. At other locations I inspected, such as the picture above, there was a thin layer of rounded basal facets with a non-uniform thickness that varied from nothing to up to 2 cms.

Snow evaluation sites did not exhibit reactivity, with CTN scores and no propagation potential. During the day we triggered two whumps, with one that resulted in propagating a several meters surface fracture in a slope below us. This evidence of instability remind us that we should not rely on test scores, but on the knowledge that er have a variable weak structure buried below a 60-70 cm slab. And with the next storm, we will be entering the "deep slab" instabilities.  The message is, be careful in your selection of terrain.

Later in the day, between plane connections, I will be adding to this post a link with the BItacora annotations (field journal). I left yesterday's Bitacora at an airplane in my first connection, but I will be getting it in a couple of hours. Lucky me!

Bitácora is Avalanche Science's field book for trip planning, risk assessment, and observations recording. A link for the December 8 Bitácora is included below: