Observation: Tushers

Observation Date
12/23/2016
Observer Name
Toddeo

Region:

Location Name or Route
Tushers - Lake Peak
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Warm day. Clear in the am and snowing in the late afternoon. Trace new after 3.30 pm, it was clearing somewhat by 4.30. Wind was calm in the morning and moderate in the late afternoon. Snow was being transported and drifted in the afternoon.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
4"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments

3 - 5" new overnight.  The valleys in certain places like Fillmore got at least 6".

Low density.

Surface hoar on most aspects (photo below).

Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Wind loading in the afternoon. In addition the alpine looks like it blew during the storm overnight. Some areas of poor snowpack structure, variable, hollow faceted areas of thin snow pack. It is worth noting that facets can typically be found on all aspects in the upper elevation areas of the Tushers.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Normal Caution
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

Today it was normal caution.  Nothing alarming noted in areas traveled.  There is not much of a slab in the thin faceted areas.

Generally low danger below treeline.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments

I would speculate that wind slabs would be an issue in the alpine. I stayed at or below treeline today.  Many areas looked drifted and wind affected.

Moderate hazard.

Snow Profile
Aspect
West
Elevation
10800
Slope Angle
20
Comments

This profile was taken right below tree line in a semi-sheltered area.

HS-38"

Bottom 8" are basal facets, 4 finger, dry and beginning to round (photo below).  Above that the rest of the snow pack grades from 2 to 4 finger hardness.  Most of the 2 finger snow is verging on 3 finger and appears to be weakening. A photo of the 2 finger grains is included below.  They are mostly rounds or facets verging on rounds.

Upper 3" is new snow.

Photos below:

1,  Basal facets; and

2.  2 Finger rounds

Overall his is a stable snow pack.  However things are highly variable in this area.  Within 200-300 feet I was able to find rotted shallow faceted snow (photo below).

Photo below:  Surface hoar.

Photo below:  An area of weak shallow snow less than 300 feet from the profile above.  This area was scoured during the last storm and has a HS that is significantly less than shown in the profile above.

Overall I would say a low danger with pockets of moderate in areas traveled today.

I would expect the hazard to rise quickly to considerable with forecasted snow tomorrow.

The Eagle Point Ski Patrol does not mind if folks to stop in when touring from the upper lot.

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