Professional Observation - Snowshed Mountain, Flathead Range

Location Name: 
Professional Observation - Snowshed Mountain, Flathead Range
Flathead Range - Middle Fork Corridor
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 12/23/2016 - 12:00
Location Map: 

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

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

Our tour up to Snowshed peak today was akin to skiing through a battle zone.  Branches, pine needles and moss littered the snow: obvious signs of the high winds that the area recieved over the last few days.  There are large cornices developing on the higher ridgelines and crossloading seemed to be occuring in most places.

We dug several pits today, most of them on the leeward sides of the ridges(NE).  We found windslabs on top of windslabs and a very well bonded snowpack.  In one pit we had a 150 cm column of snow that withstood the full rigors of a Column Test.  There was a small layer of facets(5 cm thick) approx. 90 cm below the surface.  We did not find it be reactive, but it is there.

The higher elevation terrain (6800ft+)  seemed to have been hit the hardest by the winds.  Entire slopes look to have either scoured or loaded by the wind and the cornices are starting to develop there.  We did not observe any hollow sounds or whumphing and did not see any recent sign of avalanche activity.


Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Air temperature trend: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour