East Aspect Above Treeline

Location Name: 
East Aspect Above Treeline
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Thu, 01/19/2017 - 12:22
Location Map: 
United States
36° 33' 5.598" N, 105° 26' 44.0736" W

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: 

Seeing what the West winds did in the early morning hours.  We decided to head out and check an East aspect in the Alpine. Very windy day in the Alpine.  Winds were out of the West Gusting in the 30's.  Below Treeline was dead calm with near surface faceting and surface hoar from the cold clear night and no winds. Loud powder!!  Traveling on ridgelines in the Alpine we were triggering avalanches 300' away on East Aspects.  Small 1 to 3 foot crowns that seemed to need a steepness around 38 degrees to run.  Traveling on ridgelines we were seeing cracks breaking further back than expected (see photo below).  

Photo 1: Cracks on the ridgline, breaking back further than we would've thought

Photo 2: Avalanches that we triggered while traveling on the ridgeline. We made sure that no one was in the runout zone.

Photo 3: Shallow small pocketed wind slab that we triggered gaining the ridgline on an East Aspect.  This spot is usually scoured with down slope winds.

Photo 4: Surface Hoar, Near Surface Faceting and some Graupel below treeline.

Video 1: A big horn sheep that traveresed a start zone above us.  

Video 2: Stiffening wind slabs in the alpine.

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