Balu Pass, Glacier NP
Did a bit of digging in the snow at Balu Pass today. At 2000m there is 10-20cm of new snow over the uppermost crust (the Nov 5 rain crust). Also there are 6 distinct crusts in the top meter of the snowpack. Each was Knife (K) harness, with soft (4F) facets underneath. The attached photo highlights the crusts. We got hard sudden planar results down 40 and 65cm with the weak layers being the weak facets on either side of the crust. Keep these layers in mind when heading to Rogers Pass early this season, they are likely going to be with us as a stability concern for a while. The 10-20cm new snow over the Nov 5 crust didn't have any evidence of wind effect all the way up to 2450m at Balu Pass, but was very easily sluffing off the crust if disturbed. Up higher off 8812 Peak we saw a natural size 1.5 avalanche that ran into the 8812 ski line, which we suspect was a result of wind loading. The new snow also makes it look much more filled in that a week ago, but there are plenty of early season hazards lurking just underneath the surface of the fluff.