Observation: White Pine

Observation Date
12/26/2017
Observer Name
Wilson, Hardesty

Region:

Location Name or Route
White Pine
Weather
Sky
Clear
Weather Comments
Sunnier than expected, and warm.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Snowpack in White Pine is still silly-shallow.  Soft powder snow in general but damp or slight zipper crust on patches of S & SW, and surface hoar in some flat, sheltered areas.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Yesterday after the Christmas Eve storm, I observed several remotely triggered avalanches. Couldn't see evidence of recent activity from our walk up White Pine, however. Cracking and collapsing were noteworthy wherever we strayed from the packed path. Traipsing on a low elevation West aspect I wished I'd been recording a video: I took a step, and the collapse shook snow out of the boughs of two saplings 20 feet away. Cool.
Snow Profile
Aspect
West
Elevation
7600
Slope Angle
25
Comments

'Tis the season for extended column tests.  About 90 seconds of digging gave me a full depth (HS 38cm!) pit, and I only wasted 9 wrist taps (on a second test, 3) to get full propagation and a collapse in the 2mm facets on the ground.  The facets here were smaller and damper than at higher elevations and on more northerly aspects.

 

 

Test-slope avalanche demonstrates what the collapsing and propagation were all about. 8,100' WNW.  

Video

 

Photo of a crack opening on a 9,300' NNE test slope.  Don't believe it?  Watch the drawn-out video of the cracking in action. 

 

 

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