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A new addition to our snow study tools, this two-meter cord has knots every 10 inches (25 cm), and two swaged aluminium teeth at the centre to cut through snow and crust when performing an extended column test. Handles on each end provide grip while sawing.

How to execute an Extended Column Test:

While the compression test looks at fracture initiation (is it going to crack?) the extended column test looks at propagation propensity (is the fracture going to propagate across the slope?). Like the compression test, this is valid for four-finger or harder (so, 4F, 1F, P, K, I) in snow up to 100cm deep. If there is a layer in question that is 100cm deep, you can isolate the column up to 120cm wide in order to test the layer at 100cm depth.

Isolate a 30cm upslope x 90cm wide column, isolate 15cm to 120cm deep.

Place the shovel blade on top of the column.

Tap ten-times from the wrist, ten-times from the elbow, ten-times from the shoulder (10-10-10). Look for any fractures AND propagation. Fracture being a crack and propagation being the crack shoots across the entire column.

Grab the column and jiggle it. How does it feel? 

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