E/NE Near Treeline

Location Name: 
Shallow, Faceting Snowpack
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 01/15/2020 - 13:00


Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing

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

Over the last two days, we have observed a shallow, faceting snowpack. Layers of facets were pronounced, and widespread throughout the snowpack. We also found decomposing slabs above and below these facet layers. We dug down in several areas near treeline. Long column tests continue to show that these weak layers are able to propagate.

On wind effected aspects, a hard slab was present on the surface. It varied in thickness from a breakable wind crust to a noticeably dense hard slab. This slab sounded hollow underfoot, and sits atop near surface facets.

We were also finding faceted crusts in the mid pack. On shady aspects near and below treeline, we are finding an overall shallow snowpack, with cohesionless facets from top to bottom.  

West aspects are scoured, with snow only remaining in cross loaded gullies.  

Photo 1: The hard surface slab is thick and heavy

Photo 2:  Shallow, unsupportable, faceting snowpack

Photo 3: Strong winds have scoured W aspects. Inverted tracks in gullies. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Clear skies and light winds out of the southwest. Temps rose to above freezing for several hours around noon, and trended back below freezing later in the day. No precip.