Columbine Drainage/Long Canyon

Location Name: 
Columbine Drainage/Long Canyon
Region: 
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 02/11/2020 - 13:29


Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path

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

Very much an elevational snow storm with only 3 to 4 inches of snow below treeline and 7 to 10 inches near and above treeline.  Winds were calm in the morning and picked up at higher elevations by mid-day and was starting to transport snow.  The sun made its appearance for a couple of hours in the morning and temperatures quickly warmed up but did not get above freezing.  Our strong sun was starting to warm up the new snow on East and South aspects.  

We were able to trigger some small storm slabs near and above treeline that was running on a very hard surface from the previous strong winds.  For the most part the new snow was not a cohesive slab except in wind exposed areas.  Below treeline we continue to find a shallow overall snowapck that's weak and decomposing and faceting but lacks a cohesive slab.  Near and above treeline the new snow fell on firm crusts or hard wind slabs from previous winds. We continue to find numerous persistent weak layers in the snowpack that we continue to get fail with easy to moderate force.

Photo 1: Small storm slab we triggered on a NW aspect near treeline that ran on a previous wind packed slab.

Photo 2: This NW start zone around 12,000' had previously avalanched earlier in the season and is shallow with 5 to 6 mm depth hoar on the ground.

Photo 3: The sun did make an appearance today but cornices are starting to get bigger on ridgetops.

 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Snow stopped around 9 AM and than the sun made it's appearance until about noon.  Clouds and light snow flurries moved back in during the afternoon.  Winds picked up slightly in the afternoon out of the SW with winds at ridgetops in the low teens and new snow started being transported.