THIS SNOWPACK SUMMARY EXPIRED ON December 2, 2014 @ 3:37 pm
Snowpack Summary published on December 1, 2014 @ 3:37 pm
Issued by Ben Bernall - Kootenai National Forest
recent observations

Monday I visited Bear Mountain (6012') in the West Cabinets where 20" of snow depth was found.  The Thursday-Friday rain on snow event produced a 4" knife hard rain crust.  Penetration with an avalanche shovel was difficult.  Atop this crust sits 2"-3" of very light snow.  Below this crust are a couple knife hard melt-freeze layers surrounded by pencil and one-finger stiff snow.  I was looking specifically for the November 10-15 surface hoar that developed under bitterly cold/calm conditions.  I was unable to find this hoar layer. 

The November 27-28 rain on snow event created a "bomb proof" surface layer.  This snowpack benchmark will be tracked for a long.  It does however provide an excellent bed surface for subsequent snow to move on. 


Shallow pit (20" depth) at Bear Mountain 6012'.  Very hard and thick rain crust (4"-5") located above pit brush.  Keeler snowmobile shelter with Bear Mountain 6012' as the back drop.  Current snow depths are a third of normal for December 1st.

weather summary

Thanksgiving day and Friday provided above freezing temperatures (34'-40'F) and intense rainfall (2"-5.5") on snow.  Saturday  and Sunday brought frigid temperatures (single digits-below zero) and light snowfall (2"-5").  Monday's temperatures have moderated (15'-20'F) with very light snow and calm winds.  Forecasted weather is mostly clear with single digit temperatures overnight followed by highs in the 20sF.  Preipitation chance is 0% and no accumulations.  West winds of 12 mph Monday PM may move small amounts of available snow. 


This advisory applies only to backcountry areas outside established ski area boundaries. This advisory describes general avalanche conditions and local variations always occur. This advisory expires midnight on the posted day unless otherwise noted. The information in this advisory is provided by the USDA Forest Service who is solely responsible for its content.