Wind loading evident along the ridgetops. Our snowpit revealed about 100 cm of total snow depth. Pit was dug on a northeast aspect at about 7000 ft. Rounding facets near the ground, a 2 inch thick rain crust with a about 8-12 inches of new snow on top of this crust. Our Extended Column Test revealed no fracture propagation, but we did get fractures above the crust ECTN 18 (25 cm from the surface). The surface snow was quite variable. Everything from firm ice, powder, wind slab, and hard slab. We saw no obvious signs of instability like cracking, collapsing, or recent avalanche activity, but wind loading was a red flag. The early season snowpack is quite variable right now and requires careful evaluation.
Temperatures to start the day were around 10-15º F. Wind speeds above 6000 ft. along ridgetops were about 10-20 mph average. Wind loading evident along main ridges and an obvious plume of snow blowing on the summit of Great Northern. Winds were from the southwest.
Forecast Hotline: 406.257.8402
Call or text an observation: 406.66AVYOB