Public Observation - Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park

Location Name: 
Public Observation - Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park
Region: 
Glacier National Park - Southern Lewis Range
Date and time of avalanche (best estimate if unknown): 
Sat, 03/19/2016 - 14:00
Location Map: 


Red Flags: 
Rapid warming
Obvious avalanche path

Observation made by: Public
Avalanche Observations
Avalanche Type: 
Wet
Trigger type: 
Natural
Aspect: 
West
Weak Layer: 
Unknown
Terrain: 
Above Treeline
Elevation: 
6 000ft.
Bed Surface: 
Unknown
Number of similar avalanches: 
5-10
More detailed information about the avalanche: 

I decided to take a tour up to Avalanche Lake in GNP over the weekend and it certainly lived up to its name.  I had to walk (yeah, walk!) from the Campground up to the lake due to not enough snow to ski on.  (Multiple long bare and dry patches on the Going to the Sun Road on the way in too.)  I eventually found about 130 cm of snow at the lake which seemed reasonably bonded, with the top layer of new snow still being fairly soft in the shade.  Multiple layers and crusts exist still (rain and sun) in the snow pack.  As you would expect all of the sunny bowls above the lake had let go with sizable wet slides in the preceding warm days.  The amount of debris at the bases of the various gulleys was impressive.  Interestingly, I also saw older (1 week?) massive amounts of cornice blocks.  Some the size of Mini Coopers.  By the afternoon, despite multiple warm sunny days before, all those bowls were cutting loose massive wet slides.  (Observed from the safety of the other side of the lake.)  I was impressed and surprised by the amount still available to slide when super heated by the sun on the third or fourth day in a row of sunny days.

Avalanche Photos: 
Weather Observations
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Activity: 
Skiing