Forecaster Observation - Hash Mountain/Lost Johnny, Swan Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation - Hash Mountain, Swan Range
Swan Range - East Side (Hungry Horse Reservoir access)
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 03/25/2016 - 11:00
Location Map: 

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

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

We rode up to the summit ridge of Hash Mountain at the head of the Lost Johnny Drainage in the Swan Range. At the end of the Lost Johnny road (about 5100 Feet) we found about a foot of unconsolidated, recent snow. There was nearly 2 feet at 6800 feet. Moderate (15-20 mph) winds shifted and were blowing out of the northwest and drifting the recent snow along the ridgelines at upper elevations. We saw obvious wind slab formation on steep slopes near the ridgelines, but we did not feel comfortable committing to these slopes to test them. We dug snowpits and did stability tests on northwest and east facing slopes at 6800 feet. On the northwest aspect we found small, rounding facets above the March 13 crust that fractured and propagated with hard force in one of our Extended Column Tests. We also noted a layer of large graupel (see photo) at the new/old snow interface 45 cm from the surface that consistently fractured with moderate/hard force. While we were riding out we observed small roller balls and a few small, loose, wet avalanches on low-mid elevation slopes that were exposed to the short-lived period of sun. 

Stability Test Results:

Northwest Aspect:

ECTN 13 30 cm from the surface

ECTN 14 at new/old snow interface 45 cm from the surface

ECTN 21 at new/old snow interface 45 cm from the surface

ECTP 22 on small rounding, facets atop March 13 crust 70 cm from the surface

ECTN 23 on small rounding, facets atop March 13 crust 70 cm from the surface

East Aspect:

ECTN 16 x2 at new/old snow interface 37 cm from the surface


Snowpack photos: 
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

Snow showers tapered in the early afternoon, and skies were broken with very short periods of sunshine.

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate (Small trees sway)
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
Precip Rate: 
S1; light snowfall, 1cm/hour
High Temp. (C): 
Low Temp. (C):