SW & E aspects outside Schweitzer

Location Name: 
SW & E aspects of Big Blue
Region: 
Selkirk Mountains
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 12/18/2020 - 12:51


Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

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

Observations on both SW & E aspects outside Schweitzer.  

 

SW aspect has a medium stiff semi breakable wind slab at top few inches.  Each step cracks where breaking out around the skis.  Every once in awhile breaking through on a pillow and sinking down to your chest.  Pillowy wind deposits, some  on top of brush.  SW side of trees plastered with snow while NE sides are less so.  

 

Went from there over to an East aspect and dug a pit at 6300’.   Depth to ground was 35”.  Single column broke on 1-3 taps from the wrist, 18” down from the top.  There are other layers but this one was the most consistently reactive and gave us the most concern.  Extended column test did not propagate.  “But” with a couple taps on the right side of the ECT column, after doing all 30 taps on the left side of the ECT column, the whole thing would break repeatedly.  Not sure what to take of this “bonus” test/taps other than to say it gave us concern enough to stay off 30 degree plus open slopes.

 

Several hand pits throughout the day showed instability in the top 8-12” of snow laying on a crust.  Then again at 18” down from the top on another 2” thick crust over the top of sugary weak snow.

 

Snow was starting to stack up after we had finished skiing for the day.

Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: