Originally Posted by SkiNebraski
You are saying that stuff that has had a longer time to settle is just as ap to slide as stuff that is freshly fallen
Depends on temperature (of the snow and the ambient air temp).
If it is dry and cold, it will pull moisture out of the snowpack.
moisture (in a very remedial sense) = glue.
If moisture disappears, the ability to consolidate disappears.
Often times, these really dry snowpacks are worse off a few days later.
That's the reason maritime snowpacks 'are more predictable /endquote' (endquote for emphasis).
more moisture makes it more sticky, will stick to higher angles.
Will consolidate faster (remember, super basic. As in, addition/subtraction, not algebra, let alone calculus).
There is a temperature gradient in the snow.
This means the difference in temperatures within the different layers of snow and the snow and the ground. For the most part, maritime has a consistent temp gradient. consistent = (once again, really really basic version) bonding. consistent temp = same as ground. No matter how cold it is, if you aren't in the arctic (yep, once again, super basic) the ground is 30-32 degrees, consistent is a warm snowpack, a warm snowpack is moist, a moist snowpack is sticky.
That's why I'm 'kinda' stoked for the storm cycle we're in here in Tahoe. Stoked cuz snow is great, and Tahoe (knock on wood) has a way of making the temp gradient consistent. 'kinda' because super blower snow as your base (blower = cold = unconsolidated) is bad for a base layer in the BC.
So, cold temps are relatively dry. Cold temps over a long period of time pull moisture out of snow. Therefore, snow sitting around in cold temps can become less consolidated and less stable.
Somebody interested in this needs to take at least avy 1, spend some time with somebody who has the patience to explain what he sees when he is out, and read the avy report everyday. Even if you aren't going out, you need to know what's happening in the snowpack.
This sounds like a pain. It isn't. It's part of the fun. Self reliance is great.
It really is everything. The temp the storm comes. The snowpack it's falling on, the speed and direction of the wind, how soon the sun comes out, the time of year (angle of sun), the amount of snow, and what the terrain will do to cause it, minimize it, and mititgate it.