Yet another trip out to the 'ol stomping grounds near Lincoln. I've spent more time on the splitboard in this drainage than any other area; and I still find myself surprised up there.
For one, I've never seen the traffic up there like this past weekend - 4 cars, not including my own. The tracks on the low hanging fruit had the slope looking like a ski area.
The stability, or lack of, was also surprising. The past few weeks of cold weather and no fresh snow has the snowpack sitting in an interesting state. Two pits within 200 vertical feet; one yielded an ECT 29 and the second failed upon isolation. Difficult to read such varying results, but easy to feel uncomfortable about it.
After backing off my first two objectives, I settled for more vert/mileage and ascended a ridge line to make the trip out to the car less transition filled. Within 10 feet of gaining the ridgeline, I found a steep windslab that collapsed under my feet; also found the consequent soiling of my drawers. Despite a conservative approach to the day, pretty amazing how easy it is to slip up amongst fatigue and an impending storm.
A close friend and I've been discussing and anticipating the danger a fresh snow load will bring to such a snowpack. Looks like we're going to be seeing how that plays out during these next few days.