Public Observation - Marion Lake, Flathead Range

Location Name: 
Public Observation - Marion Lake, Flathead Range
Flathead Range - Middle Fork Corridor
Date and time of observation: 
Sat, 02/20/2016 - 16:22
Location Map: 

Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

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

Spent the day on "Marion Ridge," the west ridge above Marion Lake. Winds were consistent at about 10-15 mph. out of the west/southwest. A lot of snow transport and crossloading from the ridge down to the lake (7,100 to about 6,000 ft.). It snowed from 7:30-3 consistently, but it was hard to get a read on how much; all but the most sheltered aspects were being wind-effected (my skin track was almost totally gone, even deep in the trees, after each 45-minute-ish lap). There was about seven in. of new snow on what I assume is the most recent melt-freeze or rain crust (I can't keep track on them anymore). 

There were no signs of natural avalanche activity. On some aspects, on the ridge as well as below, the new snow did fracture and propagate, but did not slide. Many ski cuts showed no results and sluffing was minimal. I did not dig any pits. 

I skied deep in the trees and didn't venture out onto any open slopes above the lake.     

As I was leaving Essex at 3:30 (it was 31 in the I.W. parking lot), the sun was beginning to pop out. 


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