Observation: Summit

Location: Fresno Ridge / Weather Station

Route & General Observations

We toured up the Southeast Ridge of Fresno to the weather station at 3400′. Below 2500′ the snow was about shin deep over grass. Above 2500′ we encountered 2-3′ of wind deposited snow up to 2800′ and then wind scoured slopes with minimal coverage up to the the station. We swapped out the solar controller and battery and then skied East facing slopes back to the highway. We were able to “ski” to around 1800′ and then had to bushwhack the rest of the way to the road. Most of the skiing below treeline (2800′) was sideslipping through devils club.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

While descending low angle shallow wind deposited snow from 3400' to 2500' we encountered multiple shooting cracks and small slabs (up to 6-8' wide / 5" thick) that fractured and slid short distances.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Clear and cold. 0 degrees / 5mph wind at 3400’.

Snow surface

1300-1800': Minimal coverage (maybe 1' of unconsolidated snow). Skiing is possible if you're on a trail or in meadows but otherwise there is too much brush.
1800-2600': Around 1.5' of unconsolidated snow in areas that haven't seen any wind. In areas exposed to wind we found a combination of rock hard wind slabs and breakable crust.
2600-2800': Good skiing.
Above 2800': Wind scoured ridges and loaded gullies.

Photos & Video
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