Professional Observation - Alpha/Doris Ridge, Swan Range

Location Name: 
Professional Observation - Alpha/Doris Ridge, Swan Range
Swan Range - East Side (Hungry Horse Reservoir access)
Date and time of observation: 
Mon, 02/29/2016 - 12:00
Location Map: 

Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

Observation made by: Professional Observer
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

The riding at upper elevation was great, some crust on the side hills to deal with but otherwise smooth with fresh snow. We snowmobiled to the end of the road above Alpha lake and skied from there. The wind was present all day, generally coming from the west/southwest.  While the generalized wind hammered the ridgetops the snow was blown all over the place below the ridgetops. Wind loading and cross loading was evident on all the east/north slopes and seemed to be affecting the snow down to about 6000 ft. 

Our pit was dug at roughly 6800 ft on a northeast aspect.  We did an ECT with no propogation.  In a Compression Test though we did have results.  We had a CT 5 @ 10 cm down and a CT 10 @45 cm down(see attached photo).  The failure down 45 cm failed on a thin crust that looked to have been from last friday's heat wave. 

We were able to get some small windslabs to release on small test slopes, but nothing deeper down than 4-5 inches. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong (Whole trees in motion)
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
Precip Rate: 
S1; light snowfall, 1cm/hour