Public Observation - Skiumah/Great Bear Creek, Flathead Range

Location Name: 
Public Observation - Skiumah/Great Bear Creek, Flathead Range
Flathead Range - Middle Fork Corridor
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 03/27/2016 - 07:00
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: 

Winds increased around 10:00 am above 5500 feet from the south-southwest as the vigorous cold front made its way into the area. We were able to release a very small pocket of fresh wind slab right off the ridge that formed today. It was only about 4-7 inches thick and 10 feet wide on a north aspect at about 7000 ft. on the ridge that divides Great Bear and Margaret Creek. This is along the northeast ridge of Great Bear Mountain. Because of this evidence and moderate to strong south-southwest winds, we opted to not continue up the steep, short northeast facing slope to the summit. We skied more sheltered/protected north facing terrain into Great Bear that was somewhat recently wind loaded, but did not produce cracking (even right near the ridge). South-Southwest winds were loading aspects on the northern and eastern half of the compass, but again it seemed isolated to right near the ridgetops in our location, at least. The descent back into Skiumah consisted of good powder skiing down to about 4500-5000 feet with the surface snow becoming slightly more cohesive/slabby than earlier in the day on the ascent, but, again, no cracking or obvious signs of instability in this location.

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong (Whole trees in motion)
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Intermittent snow beginning around 11:00 am and lasting until our exit around 2:30pm. Moderate to strong south-southwest winds.

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