Forecaster Observation - Lost Johnny, Swan Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation - Lost Johnny, Swan Range
Swan Range - East Side (Hungry Horse Reservoir access)
Date and time of observation: 
Mon, 12/26/2016 - 15:00
Location Map: 

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

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

Our objectives today were to ride throughout the Lost Johnny drainage and determine the extent of upper elevation wind slabs and presence of deeper weak layers in the snowpack. 

Just below Hash Mountain (~7200 feet) we dug a pit on a north aspect and found a relatively shallow snowpack for this aspect and elevation. In this pit, we found weak, faceted snow in the lower half of the snowpack. In one extended column test, a layer of facets fractured and propagated across the column with hard force (ECTP 24), but we were unable to replicate this result in any other pits on any other aspects throughout the day. 

In another pit on a north aspect at a slightly lower elevation (~6800 feet) we found a much deeper snowpack (270 cm) on a more wind loaded slope. The surface snow was soft and light, but below this the old wind slab from last week was present. It was not reactive in our stability tests. A layer of softer snow below this wind slab fractured, but did not propagate across the column. 

On a southeast aspect, a shallow snowpack existed. A layer between the old (prior to 12/24) snow and the 10 or so inches that ccumulated since then fractured, but did not propagate across the column. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 

December 26, 2016 - Snowpack in the Swan Range

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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
More detailed information about the weather: 

Throughout the day, consistent light snow flurries fell with light wind and occasional moderate gusts (up to 25 mph). Visibility was rather poor so we were unable to see much of the surrounding terrain. 

Precip Rate: 
S -1; very light snowfall, trace to 0.5cm/hour