West Aspects Below Wheeler Peak

Location Name: 
West Aspects Below Wheeler Peak
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 02/18/2020 - 11:57

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

Went out to check the West aspects in the cross-loaded gullies below Wheeler Peak.  Most of West aspects have been stripped of snow except for the cross-loaded slopes near treeline that people like to ski and ride.  We found an overall shallow snowpack with lots of variability in snowpack depths (See Video) In extended column tests we get persistent weak layers to fail with moderate to hard force on mid-pack facets and in some cases depth hoar in shallower snowpacks. 

The snowpack is really starting to feel the effects of the sun over the last several days.  Sun crusts have formed on solar aspects.  Below 10,000' the snowpack is quickly shrinking with warm temperatures and sun melting away the snow.  Shady north aspects still have cold "recycled powder".

Photo 1: Sun crust on a west aspect with near surface faceting below the crust

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Beautiful day with with calm to light SW winds.  We did not observe any snow being transported.  The sun is starting to feel intense this time of year but temperatures only got to 34 F at 10,000'.