Item: Evaluating the ak block, a sized non-cutback snow test
Title: Evaluating the ak block, a sized non-cutback snow test
Proceedings: Proceedings of the 2006 International Snow Science Workshop, Telluride, Colorado
Authors: Bill Glude and Randall Mullen, Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center, Juneau, AK
Abstract: The AK Block is a snow test block sized to the tester’s weight and their ski or snowboard contact length, dug out on three sides, and loaded much like a Rutschblock. It is a quick test that samples a large area, eliminates the back cut, compensates for tester weight, yields a numerical score, and gives direct sensory feedback. The Southeast Alaska Avalanche Center staff has evaluated the AK Block over the last four winters in a wide range of snow conditions. Statistical analysis indicates that its lack of a back cut does not make a significant difference, the sizing model appears to work but needs a larger sample to fully refine and verify it, and the AK Block and Rutschblock are comparable as weak predictorsof avalanche activity. As input into the Stability Wheel, both tests are stronger predictors. This paper includes a simplified block-sizing table and a practical how-to guide.
Keywords: avalanche, snow stability tests, block tests, sized-block, ak block, rutschblock
Digital Abstract Not Available