Observation: Electric Lake

Observation Date
12/3/2018
Observer Name
Kobernik - Kendall
Region
Skyline
Location Name or Route
Northeast shoulder near the bowl
Comments
We chose the Electric Lake Bowl zone today to check out the snow.  We found a very stable snowpack.  We did not see any red flags.  We did not experience any collapsing of the snowpack and we were purposely looking for it.  We found scattered areas that had a small amount of old faceted snow.  This snow appears to not be an issue at the locations we checked today.  There was very little of it and I'm thinking it is starting to become damp which means it is stabilizing.  That said, we still stayed on lower angle terrain.  I'll feel more confident after the pack settles and stabilizes a bit more.  It'll happen.  WAY better start than last season.
Video
Keep in mind that there are plenty of other areas along the Skyline that are holding up to a foot of old weak faceted snow from October and early November.  Mainly on northwest, north and northeast slopes.  Basically anywhere the sun didn't melt it off.  East faces are a bit of a wild card as I'm not sure exactly how much old snow was present prior to the Thanksgiving storms.  My assumption is that east faces are in much better shape compared to the northwest, north and northeast.  Now that we can travel around I'll be able to gather quite a bit more information on the distribution and condition of the old snow.  For now IT'S WISE TO AVOID THE HIGH NORTHERLY STEEP TERRAIN.
 
The avalanche danger varies greatly from places that don't have old faceted snow compared to places that have this faceted snow present near the ground.  In locations with no old snow, the danger is generally LOW and triggering an avalanche is quite unlikely.  In places that have old weak snow near the ground, the danger is CONSIDERABLE and human triggered avalanches are probable.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable

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