Santa Fe Region

Moderators: Bob, Matt, mark, scotthsu

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby JBella » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:01 am

Brown_Trout wrote:It was a great tour but very long and I would encourage everyone to read the TSV avy center forecasts if they are going out.


It's not the TSV avy center, it's the Taos Avalanche Center. I think this is important to clarify as Taos Ski Valley, Inc. is not responsible for monitoring conditions within or providing forecasts for our public lands surrounding their permitted operating area, and should not be associated with the TAC this way even though there are mutual and personal relationships between the two entities. It's also important to keep in mind these regions, Taos and Santa Fe, have very different snowpacks - any info and obs from one region may not be relative to another and shouldn't be relied upon to make decisions. I would encourage anyone who reads the posts from the TAC, and any avalanche center, to understand how to use that info as another tool to compliment their own real-time findings. The TAC forecasters are posting some useful stuff, and getting more thorough as they learn this area. Hopefully after this season there will be potential and support for their organization to expand to include more of northern New Mexico, and eventually the entire state's mountainous regions. For now it's important to consider the distances between their forecast areas and other sub-ranges and geologic divisions within the Sangres, and how variations in orographic effects in different areas can influence the localized snowpack, with each storm cycle and weather event.
User avatar
JBella
 
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 9:19 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Brown_Trout » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:57 am

Good post. I didn't mean to associate the two and I appreciate you pointing out that they are separate entities which I was aware of but clearly made an incorrect association.

Also agree that their info should be used to compliment findings at actual locations. I think they're doing a great job for the resources they have and the more information that's out there that we can look at before going out the better. Before I would look at the CAIC daily reports to at least get an idea of what people were seeing in the san juans and closer to NM. Having the TAC forecasts which are much closer in proximity to all of our northern mountains is a great resource and at least allows a general sense of how the snowpack is acting at that given location.
Tight lines and deep pow
Brown_Trout
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Jasper » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:57 pm

Hi Everybody, It's really great to see all the posts from over the weekend. I am glad people are getting out and sharing their observations!

I was skiing on Heaven's Hill today. Snowdepths where about 100cm to 130cm. We need more! The shallow snowdepth makes me nervous because it allows a skiers weight to impact the basal facets. On the other hand a quick pit on a north facing 30 degree slope showed facets on the ground, but not depth hoar, as well as no planer or shooting fractures in stability tests. Loose dry avalanche debris piles were seen on the north faces of Ravens Ridge, and pinwheels where seen on south faces.
Go when the going is good.
Jasper
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:51 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Jasper » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:59 pm

Also, The Taos Avalanche Center will be giving an Avalanche Awareness Talk at the Santa Fe Brewing Co on Friday Feb3 6:30 to 7:30. Please come. The poster can be seen on the Education page of nnmae.org.
Go when the going is good.
Jasper
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:51 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Jasper » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:27 pm

Some friends and I dug around in Nambe Saturday. At 11900ft on a 33degree NNW slope near the ridgeline and below treeline we saw a 130cm snowpack. The snowpack here is showing persistant slab characteristics. There is a 100cm 1 finger hard slab siting on 30cm of facets. Stabilty tests showed sudden planer failures at the interface of these layers.
Go when the going is good.
Jasper
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:51 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Jasper » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:52 pm

A friend and I skied in Nambé drainage, above treeline, yesterday. We observed some active pinwheeleing on the west aspect as well as some older wet slide debris on the west aspect above the lake. This debris was at least a week old and contained some chunks of snow that were about 1/2 cubic meter in size. We observed no other recent avalanches natural or human triggered. Winds were calm and it was sunny. Nonetheless their was some rippled snow. I dug a hasty pit on a NNW aspect. The storm snow was nearly a foot deep. It reacted with sudden planer fractures at the new/old snow interface with CTE8 as well as at an interface about 10 cm below the surface with CTE6. Extended column tests did not show propagation. I attempted to dig deeper in order to see how the mid pack and basal facets looked. The snow was pencil hard so digging and isolating a column was difficult. Thus I was not able to get any meaningful information of what is happening below the new storm snow on this NNW aspect.

We also dug a full profile on a W aspect below treeline. The snow was 170cm deep and consisted of a largly cohesive slab. We did not witness any fracture propagation in our extended column tests at this location.

I encourage everybody to get out and enjoy this nice weather. Look for clues as to how the snowpack may behave by looking at the weather and taking in above snow observations. Also get your shovel out and look for buried weak layers. Please submit what you see.
Go when the going is good.
Jasper
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:51 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Bob » Sat Feb 18, 2017 8:28 pm

Skied the main Nambé chute off Deception today. Kind of typical for the Nambé, it was wind scoured chalk for the top 1/4, then nice settled soft snow for the next 3/4.
Image

The only instability noted was pinwheels and point release sluffs on the south facing slopes where sun-warmed recent snow slid down over sun crusts, like this:
Image

It was pretty crusty on the south-facing slopes, so we didn't bother trying the south-facing chute of Heavan's Hill (my favorite chute). Maybe after another storm or two.

Down in the trees on the way out there was a lot of nice soft snow. The skin track up over Raven's Ridge back to the ski area had an awful lot of boot tracks in it - please don't boot up the skin track (basic backcountry courtesy).
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 498
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:10 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Gradymack » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:55 pm

Skied into the Nambe drainage off the north aspect of the peak of Raven's Ridge yesterday. There was less than an inch of very low density snow from Saturday night over everything. Below that, there was a very light unsupportable crust that gained strength the lower we descended. I hypothesize it was formed during the warm weather earlier this week. The crust is definitely a potential weak layer, as it was breaking and sluffing with each turn. By the time we reached the meadow, it was a much stronger unsupportable crust, but it was very difficult to make turns, so we had to resort to hop turns to make the transition between turns. Bootpacked up the boot-out chute in the basin... a mostly supportable wind slab on top of facets at the bottom of the basin and by the time we reached the top, it seemed to be all wind slab to the ground. There were some rocks popping up in the chute. It's getting funky out there folks.
Gradymack
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Casey Tele » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:20 pm

Went into the backcountry outside SF yesterday. We dug a pit between N-2 and N-3 (see http://www.imafirst.com/NambePanorama2.jpg) above one of the cliff bands @~12000ft. The slop angle was 32. The area was pretty wind and sun ravaged. Despite encouraging test results (see the pit test below), we decided against skiing the main chute off Deception due to the shallowness of the depth hoar (60cm below the surface) and a nasty looking snow surface (wind raked and wavy). We were hoping that some of the depth hoar had rounded out during this last warm spell but it was still in a state of nasty faceting. Additionally, it looks like N-1 either had a wet slide early last week or has become completely scoured to the ground, either way it is all exposed rock. Sorry the pit isn't super detailed but it was a pretty unpleasant spot to stay still for long. Given what we saw in terms of depth and snow surface combined with our relative inexperience we decided to make a more conservative terrain choice and go to heaven hill.

We hiked across to Heaven Hill via Lake Peak. We set off a couple of small sluffs (~1-2in deep) while crossing from Deception to Lake, nothing stepped down though. Also the snow surface was much harder while crossing the ridge than the last time I was there. Our steps required quite a bit more kicking force and in places it was pretty dang slick, so if you are doing the traverse make sure you are ready for slick conditions. Only one person in our party had an axe, he was happy he had it but the other member and I were fine without one. The snow surface on Heaven was divine, a couple inches of recycled powder.
Attachments
Nambe 2-26 pit.jpg
Nambe 2-26 pit.jpg (79.49 KiB) Viewed 894 times
Get low and ski slow
Casey Tele
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:17 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Gradymack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:54 am

Skied into the Nambe basin yesterday via the Boot-out chute. The snow in that chute had not been corned up at all. Still a supportable/non-supportable wind crust over facets. Booted up the south aspect face, next to the trees. This snow was hard in some places and in others, I was post-holing. It felt like, in the supportable snow, it had been thoroughly refrozen to the ground and in others, it was only the top layer that had refrozen, hence the postholing. Some signs of past wet-slides on the south-facing aspect, but I didn't note any current signs of instability. Skied the couloir off the top of heaven's hill into the nambe basin, the snake couloir. Waited at the top of the couloir for it to soften up until around 11:30. The very top layer softened up a little bit by then, but it was still quite a hard ride down. Great line though. Booted back up the boot-out chute to the resort. Overall, it still feels like a snowpack that is transitioning from a
IMG_0008 (1).JPG
At the top
IMG_0008 (1).JPG (1.84 MiB) Viewed 831 times
winter snowpack to a spring snowpack.
Gradymack
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:18 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Jasper » Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:25 pm

Did anybody get out today or yesterday? Isolated storm slabs where very reactive, yesterday before the clouds cleared, inbounds at Santa Fe. I imagine it was similar in the backcountry, and will sort itself out fairly quick. If we get alot of snow this week persistant slabs could wake up. Remember that long spring days and long spells without avalanche activity promote confidence that contributes to March being the month with the most avalanche accidents in North America. Check out this article from our friendly neighbors of the North. http://www.avalanche.ca/blogs/novemberfacetsmarchlphccycle
Go when the going is good.
Jasper
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:51 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby sody » Sat Apr 01, 2017 6:29 am

Looked at Nambe yesterday. Were able to skin all the way to top of Decception peak along the ridge (east side) A lot of wind with about 30 mph speeds.
We decided not to ski with the recent snow and on top of that the wind slap. Did not test the slopes, but it looked dicey. On the boot pack down to the ski area/trees, we found pockets of knee deep wind deposits. From that we expected about 2-3 feet of wind slap in the chutes, non supportive.
sody
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:23 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby Jasper » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:25 pm

I skied in Nambé drainage April 1st, and today, April 2nd. We saw no signs of recent avalanches. I would like to say that the most obvious hazard would be recent wind and storm slabs. With more snow on the horizon I would be cautious of the new loads reaching a tipping point, and waking up persistent weak layers such as basal facets. In the alpine areas above tree line we were able to move small (football) sized chucks of wind slab, but we activated nothing else. At lower elevations in steep north facing trees we were able to move significant dry loose snow. On April 1st we dug a, below treeline, pit on a 30˚north aspect at 11500 ft. The snowpack here was 240cm deep! The top 100cm of snow was homogenous dry snow and high quality for skiing. Below this meter thick slab was a layer of uncohesive facets. Compression tests yielded CTM17 Q2 or resistant planer and CTH26 Q2 or resistant planer on the 100cm down facet layer. If you get out in the backcountry drop a line (on here!).
Go when the going is good.
Jasper
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:51 am
Location: Santa Fe

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby lobojasper » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:14 am

Nambe Basin, 4/9/17.

IMG_3875.jpg
IMG_3875.jpg (331.55 KiB) Viewed 578 times


IMG_3888 (2).jpg
IMG_3888 (2).jpg (348.51 KiB) Viewed 579 times


IMG_3898.jpg
IMG_3898.jpg (344.74 KiB) Viewed 578 times
lobojasper
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 7:12 pm

Re: Santa Fe Region

Postby trevdog » Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:26 pm

Had a great run down Heaven's Hill on Sunday. A mix of pretty much every surface condition depending on aspect and elevation. Excellent snow up high in the shade, walking out a couple spots of the Windsor toward the parking lot. This photo might be you guys, lobojasper... I've got some more and a short video clip if you want. A little shaky though as the wind was ripping at 40 or so.
Attachments
guy in nambe.jpg
guy in nambe.jpg (881.56 KiB) Viewed 554 times
trevdog
 
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:52 am

PreviousNext

Return to Northern New Mexico 2016-2017 Conditions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron