Williams Lake/Kachina Basin

Location Name: 
Williams Lake/Kachina Basin
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 12/16/2016 - 14:19
Location Map: 
United States
36° 33' 47.0484" N, 105° 26' 21.516" W
US


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: 

Sorry I'm getting this out so late, but big day here.   I only ran into a couple of you out in the backcountry today, so I'm assuming most spent their time inbounds at the resort.  Lot's of avalanches everywhere inbounds with cutbanks, lower front steeps and pretty much everywhere.  I'll get into more specifics in tomorrows forecast but avalanches were occuring everywhere with ski cuts, explosives as well as numerous naturals.  

I did make it up above Williams Lake but visibility was horrible and easily blowing in the 40 to 50 mph range.  Collapsing and shooting cracks everywhere with propagation going 500' or more.  There were several naturals and I apoligize that the photos probably aren't better, with visibility being so bad.  Take home points from today is that canyon winds were raging with a max gust of 56 mph on Highline Ridge out of the West.  Around 8" of snow has fallen since 5AM this morning (measuring snow in these blustery conditions is almost an impossible task)  with around .8" of water so far.  I did get to see some debris piles off of Backside of Kachina Peak but had no way of telling where they started or how big the crown was.  Stability tests were showing that soft wind slab was bonding well with the old snow and showing a willingness to propagate. Temperatures remained warm with temps hovering around freezing at 9200' all day.

Photo 1: Avalanche Debris in the apron from the backside of Kachina Peak on NE avalanche path. There appeared to be multiple paths that had run.

Photo 2:  Shooting crack while approaching the slope .

Snowpack photos: 
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

STAY SAFE OUT THERE!

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

All our weather stations are down currently but around 8" of new snow with .8" of water during the day.  Measuring snow and precip amounts is a tall order anyway with strong winds.  Lots of blowing snow with our traditional up canyon winds.