Ring Finger

Location Name: 
Ring Finger
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 12/10/2019 - 12:10
Location Map: 
United States
36° 34' 4.8792" N, 105° 25' 36.2244" W

Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity

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

Many of our avalanche problems have been on northern aspects, so we decided to see what was happening on western slopes. Below treeline and areas sheltered by the wind, wind slabs were not widespread. In snowpits we dug on west aspects near and above treeline, we did not get any significant results. The snowpack there is 60-70cm deep, in contrast to deeper Northern slopes which are 180cm. In other west facing locations, the snowpack is surprisingly shallow, due most likely to the strong western winds from previous weeks. In the shallow snowpacks, they had supportable slabs with faceting snow near the ground. The snow most likely is not from October. Rather it is likely from November and faceting quickly in the shallow snowpack, they are not as developed compared to what we have been finding on North aspects from early October. These West slopes have wind slabs above treeline, but we were finding them to be a lot smaller than those on North and East aspects. Southern facing slopes have buried crusts. These crusts are deteriorating with facets observed.

Reports were from snow safety mitigation teams that they were getting wind slab avalanche results, with explosives. 


Photo 1: Below Treeline West facing slope. In a wind sheltered area. HS 77. Supportable four finger slab. No depth hoar. No wind slab.

Photo 2: Very small wind slab propegating from ski tips, while cutting slope. 

Photo 3: In the gut of ring finger. Deeper snowpack lower down, with similar snowpack structure. 

Photo 4: Snowpit dug start zone of Pinky. 

Photo 5: South aspect at about 11,800 feet. Several buried deteriorating crusts. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Cold start to the morning, quickly warmed up. Temps are still in the low 20's. Clear, sunny day. Solar aspects were taking heat. Light to mid winds were coming out of the west. No snow transporting.