Observation: Other Regions

Location: Palmer Creek Road

Route & General Observations

Palmer Creek Road – back 12 miles and up to treeline on Southwest and West aspects

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)?Yes
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

One collapse in a sheltered creek bottom near the road (~1500')
Somewhat stubborn cracking in wind slabs deposited today on the cross loaded southerly aspect
Moderate snow transport in winds at treeline, with some plumes off ridgetops in the AM

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

Broken skies to obscured, with a few bursts of 1/cm hour snowfall
Warm - temps in the 30s
Moderate winds gusting strong from the East at treeline except for sheltered West aspects

Snow surface

Recent winds have cleared East aspects above treeline in places, and south aspects had substantial scouring/loading from past storms.  West aspects in sheltered locations had ski penetration of 3-6" of recent dense snow.  Moist snow surface to ~1800', and a thin layer of wet snow was observed on the surface at 1500' midday... but it was covered with a dusting of moist snow by late afternoon. 


Southwest aspect ridge to 2400', the height of snow ranged from 40cm to 160cm+ depending on previous wind effect. 
Aspects facing slightly more to the SW had 6-8" fresh windslabs.

Pit #1: 2000', 32 degree slope, SSE aspect, HS = 135cm.  
Probing nearby showed 80-160cm - highly variable in area.
Surface to 15cm down: 1 finger hard wind deposited snow
15cm to 80cm down: 4 finger - 1 finger snow
@ 80cm: thin interface
80-90cm: 10cm of 1 finger snow
90cm down: thick Dec 1 crust (see photo below for full structure)
Results:  CT 1 PC, ECTP 1 down 15-20cm under the fresh wind slab.  CT 29 down 80cm at the thin interface 

West aspect ridge to 2100'.  Much less variation on this slope to 2100', but substantial wind effect above this elevation.

Pits #2 and #3 : 2000', West aspect, 32 degree slope, HS: 130
(Representative locations)
Slight surface variation of 10cm wind deposited snow or wind protected fist hard snow, over 40 - 50cm of four finger -> 1 finger snow.  This sat on 2cm of facets, over the stout Dec 1 melt freeze crust.  This location also featured 5-10cm of fist hard basal facets at the ground, unlike Pit #1 where the layer was thinner and not as soft. (see photo below for full pit structure).  
Results: CT1 PC, ECTP 1 down 10cm below wind deposited snow
CT 13, 20, 23 SC and ECTP 16, 18 in the facets over the Dec 1 crust (down 50-60cm)
CT 1, 10 SC at the ground

Photos & Video
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