Medicine Bow Nordic Ski Patrol
Patrol Log: Sunday, January 6, 2002:  Allen and S. Frost
6 Jan 02, 0845-1430, Snowy Range.  Skied the Potholes Route 
from Green Rock Cutoff to Brooklyn Lake and back, with Sandy 
Frost, Adele Aldrich, and Jackie the dog.  Set out trail markers 
(blue diamonds on lath) for the first 1/2 mile.  Snow conditions 
were good, with an inch or two of new powder.  But there wasn't 
enough  to cover all of the deadfall.  There's one large new fallen 
tree across the trail; it would be a good idea to take a hand saw 
along and cut off the branches that block the corridor.

The car count was as follows at 0845:

Corner Mtn Trailhead:            0
Little Laramie Trailhead:         0
Green Rock Picnic Ground:   2 (no trailers)
Roadside near Green Rock: 47 (all with trailers)

Dug a snowpit at 10,340' along the Potholes Route, on an open, sunny, 
SE aspect.

74 cm ---- snow surface ----------------------------------
                          new powder
69 cm ---- top, old surface 3 ----------------------------
                          fist snow
59 cm ---- top, old surface 2 -----------------------------
                          1-finger snow
57 cm ---- bottom, old surface 2  ------------------------
                          fist snow
52 cm ---- top, old surface 1 ------------- EASY shovel shear
                          1-finger snow
50 cm ---- bottom, old surface 1 ---------- easy shovel shear
                          depth hoar layer 2
35 cm -----------------------------------------------------
                          fist snow
20 cm ------------------------------------- easy shovel shear
                          depth hoar layer 1
0  cm ----- ground -----------------------------------------

A Rutschblock test caused failure by sliding at the top of old surface 
1 on Sandy's first jump.

Comment:  This snow column is interesting for 3 reasons.  First, there 
are several old surfaces preserved at depth, some having little adhesion

to the layer above. Second, there appear to be two depth-hoar layers.  
Third, and most important, the Rutschblock test suggests strongly that 
one of the old surfaces is a possible source of instability.  As is 
typical this time of year in the Rockies, people should use extreme 
caution near slopes of 25 degrees or steeper.

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