Kachina Peak / Lake Fork Area

Location Name: 
Kachina Peak / Lake Fork Area
Region: 
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 12/27/2016 - 11:10
Location Map: 
United States
36° 33' 34.3908" N, 105° 26' 35.4192" W
US


Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path

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

I'll put the location of the avalanche activity on the East side of Kachina Peak that stepped down in the rock band in the map.  Evidence of strong wind could be found at higher elevations but swirling winds seemed to really only affect certain basins where wind can scour and load certain areas.  It's hard to say that all East or Northeast aspects were susceptible to similar conditions as each basin or cirque has it's own unique winds.  Fetches on the windward side of ridges for the most part have been stripped of their snow.  Some leeward or cross loaded aspects continue to hold low density (Fist Hardness) snow and others were bullet proof hard wind slabs that we are accustomed to.  Below Treeline in the trees where the wind hasn't been as strong low density soft snow could be found.  Not all high elevation terrain is scoured it just takes a little bit to find that lower density powder from this last storm.

A good inversion this morning with upper elevation temps at 12,000' starting off early in the morning in the upper teens and temps in town in the single digits.  It felt warm today with the intense sun, especially on southerly aspects but all elevations above 9000' remained below freezing.  We did see rollers on southerly aspects.  

Photo 1:  Avalanche debris from the East side of Kachina Peak.  Crowns started mid path or at rock bands stepping down further down the track.

Photo 2: Low density snow remains below treeline providing good skiing as well as good coverage.

Photo 3: Roller balls on a southerly aspect above treeline.  Even in December with a low sun angle we see intense sun at this latitude.  

Photo 4: Sheep enjoying the scoured ridgelines from these strong winds in the past few days.  All the fetches or windward sides of slopes are stripped of their snow with no more snow available for transport to the leeward side.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
West
Accumulation rate: 
None