Observation: Electric Lake

Observation Date
01/8/2016
Observer Name
Darce Trotter / Steve Cote

Region:

Location Name or Route
Far East Electric Lake
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Northwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Relatively warm day, flat light in morning, but sun was trying to burn through, on and off light flurries.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
5"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments

New snow well behaved, just not deep enough to cause any problems, we are most concerned about new snow that has fallen on bed surfaces from Christmas cycle, followed by very cold temps, is a sandbox of weakening snow that you could float through but skied like 18" of smoke, occasionally bottoming out on ground.  Once loaded, definite repeaters will be norm, not the exception.  Thicker pack was also affected, with over cover 3'+, some places weakening and punchy, yet 20' away, entirely supportable.  Do think overall conditions are holding their own, but would not call it progressive strengthening like you would expect with time.  

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
things are pretty stable for now, but shallow pack in paths that ran set up for likely repeaters
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Problem #1 Comments

any wind is likely to transport low density snow and could build sensitive slabs, we were out of main wind today and did not observe any locally. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments

low likelyhood, high consequence conditions still could exist in extreme terrain. 

Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
9400
Slope Angle
29
Comments

Electric Lake Bowl proper had been tracked out without incident, definitely had run during last cycle, we were struck by the inconsistency of the pack, weakening in some places, stronger in others, but overall easy travel and great spongy conditions.  We picked some lower angle terrain and old bed surfaces to ski, snow was very fast and supportable, but had a good look around  at old bed surfaces and areas that had not slid.  A lot of snowmobile traffic lower down, but no evidence up higher. 

Video

basal facets are damp and rounding, overall pack was strong where thick, weakening over old bed surfaces/shallow pack

18" or so have filled in old paths, this snow is much weaker

Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates