Forecaster Observation - Peak 6996, southern Glacier Park

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation - Peak 6996, southern Glacier Park
Glacier National Park - Southern Lewis Range
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 12/23/2016 - 13:00
Location Map: 

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

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

The focus of today's tour was to observe: Avalanche activity that occured on December 20; snow distribution from the recent high wind event; recent cornice growth; current snow surface; weak layers in a "Continental type" snow pack; old snow/new snow interface. We chose an area known for both its cold shallow snowpack and windy location for this tour.

  • We noted 1 small wind slab avalanche on a mid elevation steep wind loaded aspect. We also observed small cornice failures at this elevation.
  • The recent wind event had affected the snow at all elevations. The most exposed areas at mid and upper elevations exhibited hard slab characteristics. Other areas, including some sheltered locations, had soft slab characteristics. The most sheltered locations retained soft surface snow.
  • Cornice growth was minimal, which we attributed to the high winds that deposited snow well below typical loading locations. 
  • The snow surface, except for the most exposed areas, is well dimpled from recent wind and snow deposition.
  • At mid elevations wind slabs were overlying low density snow.
  • At uppper elevations the basal snowpack was made up of facets sandwiching an ice mass.  Stability tests resulted in failure with hard force above and below the crust but without propagation.
  • The old snow/new snow interface was unreactive in stability tests.  
Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light (Twigs in motion)
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
Precip Rate: 
S -1; very light snowfall, trace to 0.5cm/hour