Long Canyon Naturals

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Location Name: 
Long Canyon Ridgeline
Region: 
Long Canyon Area
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 01/19/2020 - 12:00


Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing

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

Went for a tour to check out recent avalanche activity in Long Canyon. A more cohesive surface slab was noticeable at all elevations. Below treeline we continuously got audible whumfing on low angle terrain. This slab formed from Fridays strong winds. Below treeline it sits atop various layers; from low density new snow to faceted crusts, making for a weak overall snowpack structure.

Natural avalanches were observed on East aspects above treeline, and in areas that act like above treeline. We found larger naturals, which propagated far distances and stepped down into deeper weak layers. These larger naturals occurred below ridgelines where previous strong winds had created a hard slab. This hard slab ran on near surface facets, and stepped down into deeper facet layers in the mid pack. In areas where the snowpack was most shallow, it ran all the way to the ground. Smaller trees were either flagged or completely broken. With enough force to bury, injure, or kill a person, the larger naturals ran noticeable distances. 

Below the ridgeline in areas semi-protected from winds, smaller storm slabs ran only within the new storm snow. These propagated up to a hundred feet in length, and were relatively harmless in size to a backcountry traveler. Even on more mellow slopes which had not slid near and above treeline, we were getting loud whumfing and collapsing.

In traveling across West facing slopes near treeline, whumfing and collapsing was occuring as well.    

The sun quickly warmed the snow surface, making for sloppy travel. 

Photo 1: Hard slab stepped down to the ground in the shallowest areas.  

Photo 2: Storm slab avalanche ran within the new storm snow. 

Photo 3: Strong winds effected terrain below treeline 

العناية بالبشرة

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
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: 
North
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Temperatures quickly rose to the low 30's, and jumped above freezing later in the day. Very light winds from the North, with no cloud cover.