Colombine-Hondo Wilderness Area

Location Name: 
Colombine-Gavilan Drainage
Long Canyon Area
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 02/29/2020 - 12:00

Observation made by: Professional Observer
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Went for a tour up in the Colombine-Hondo Wilderness area. Overall snowpack depths were consistently shallower in comparison to the snow depths in the Williams Lake drainage. We found high spatial variability in layering of snowpacks. In some locations the snowpack resembles early season form. See Video. Shallow and faceting throughout, the snowpack consisted primarily of depth hoar. These northerly slopes were a reminder that our persistent slab problem is still out there. On other slopes above treeline, more cohesive and decomposing slabs overlay various layers of facets. See Video. These facet layers remain reactive. In long column tests they failed under moderate to hard force and easily propagated. Again, giving heed that persistent weak layers remain a concern.  

A melt freeze crust was found on all solar aspects at all elevations. On Southern aspects this melt freeze crust was thick and supportable at upper elevations. The sun quickly warmed the snow surface, and climbing skins needed glob-stopper early in the tour. This thicker melt freeze crust made for good skiing later in the day.

Our snowpack below treeline is quickly melting out.

Photo 1: Large striated cups of Depth Hoar  

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

A beautiful day with strong sun. Temperatures were elevational dependant. Below treeline remained in the mid 30's all day. Near treeline reached the low 30's, with temps at higher elevations rising to the mid 20's. Winds increased throughout the day, and were light to moderate out of the Southwest. No precip.