West Slopes Below Wheeler Peak

Location Name: 
West Slopes Below Wheeler Peak
Region: 
Williams Lake Area
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 01/04/2020 - 12:10


Red Flags: 

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

Went out with a great group of people to study snow and see what was going on with west facing slopes near and above treeline.  We continue to find and overall shallow snowpack on these slopes compared to it's neighbors to the north.  Snowpack depths were generally less than 1.5 meters of snow.  We continue to find faceted crusts and basal facets near the ground that fail and propagate with moderate force.  Cohesive slabs from the end of December storms are currently resting on top of weak layers.  Longer column Propagation Saw Tests continue to show these weak layers able to fracture with cut lengths 20% to 40% of the column. 

Thanks for a great day and hopefully we can do it again soon!

Photo 1:  ECTP with moderate force from Tom and Craig's snowpit on a west aspect near treeline, failling on a weak faceted layer below a crust

Photo 2: The group looking at the western slopes below Wheeler Peak

Photo 3: A shallower snowpack with basal facets

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Northwest
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

A warmer start to the day with temperatures in the 20's and warming throughout the day.  Temperatures got to above freezing below 11,500'.  Sunny skies in the morning with high elevation clouds rolling in during the afternoon.  Winds were moderate above treeline and gusting stronger, with minimal blowing snow.