Long Canyon

Location Name: 
Long Canyon
Long Canyon Area
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 02/04/2020 - 12:48

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

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

Storm totals so far through the afternoon are 12-15 inches with about 1 inch of snow water equivalent (SWE).  In our travels in Long Canyon we were getting loud audible collapses and shooting cracks near and below treeline on an East aspect.  At the ridgeline west winds were loading East facing slopes into 2 + foot storm slabs.  We were able to remotely trigger a storm slab avalanches from the ridgline. Most of the storm slab avalanches were running on the interface with the firm melt freeze crust and were 1 to 2 feet in depth.  Other slopes that weren't impacted by the wind were naturally relieving themselves with loose snow avalanches easily running on the firm crust.  This was confined to terrain steeper than 38 degrees.  

Snow continues into the afternoon and evening and storm totals look to be impressive with this storm. Visibility was not the greatest out there in terms of obs, but this added weight is surely stressing our persistent weak layers (See Video )

Photo 1: Storm slab avalanche we triggered from the ridgeline on an East aspect.  This was only the new snow running on the melt-freeze crust.

Photo 2: Loud audible collapses and shooting cracks during our tour today

Photo 3: Deep trail breaking with 12 to 15" so far for the storm

Photo 4: New snow sitting on top of the melt-freeze crust from the weekend with faceted crusts below.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Greater than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Snow kept falling through the day with an additional 6 to 10 inches of snow falling through mid afternoon.  Winds calmed down since this morning with winds speeds in the teens gusting into the 20's out of the West.  Temperatures were dropping through the day with temperatures currently in the single digits at most elevations.