Lake Fork Peak

Location Name: 
Lake Fork Peak
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Thu, 03/12/2020 - 12:16

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

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

We had a rain on snow event below 9500' last night that produced some wet snow avalanches at this elevation and below.  These avalanches were in steeper terrain 38 degrees or more and appeared to going all the way to the ground on wet facets.  Unsure whether it was a slab or just gouging into the ground.

We picked up 3 to 5 inches above 11,000' that was being transported by moderate west winds at ridgetops.  We had small wind slabs that formed on the leeward side of ridgelines and was reactive to ski cuts, running in the new snow on a crust.  In our travels we had localized collapsing and whumfing on a near surface facet layer below the latest melt-freeze crust.  When the sun was out we had roller balls and pin wheeling on southerly aspects as the new snow warmed up and became wet. 

We continue to find shallow snowpacks on many slopes near and above treeline with multiple facets layers that are reactive in long column tests. A near surface facet layer beneath the recent melt-freeze crust seems to be most reactive.  

Below Treeline or below 11,000' has had the most amount of warming in the last two weeks.  Some of these slopes are unsupportable with wet snow to the ground.  North aspects have the most continuous snow where we are find cold dry facets below wet snow.

Green = 9200' Orange = 11,000' Red = 12,500'

Photo 1: Roller balls on a SE aspect above treeline

Photo 2: Small wind slabs on the leeward side of ridgelines above treeline

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: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Temperatures rose to the mid 40's at 9000' and the upper 20's at 12,500'.  Temperatures reached above freezing at roughly 11,700' this afternoon.  Clouds dissipated in the morning and we had a couple hours of strong sun. Upper level clouds increased in the afternoon. Winds were in the teens to mid 20's today out the west at ridgetops.