Professional Observation - Stanton Mountain, Glacier National Park

Location Name: 
Professional Observation - Stanton Mountain, Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park - Southern Lewis Range
Date and time of observation: 
Thu, 02/11/2016 - 14:00
Location Map: 

Red Flags: 
Rapid warming

Observation made by: Professional Observer
Snowpit Observations
Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

Toured up the SW Ridge of Stanton at the north end of Lake Mcdonald on a very thin snpowpack.  Only a couple of inches in spots with rocks showing on the trail.  Higher up the shady northerly aspects were firm and good skinning.  Taking a peek at the bowl facing SW reveiled a large wet slide that appeared to have been initiated by all the pinwheels just getting organized and forming up a sizable amount of heavy wet snow.  This hazard was compounded by the slide funneling down into a very steep sided gulley as they tend to do.  (Photo)

Stability tests high on the ridge were good, with no failures in the ECT except due to the thin snow pack there was a lot of moisture at the ground and the column eventually failed there during a compression test.  The pinwheels were too much to ignore though and the top 30 centimeters were primed but didn't have a consistent sliding surface underneath. I would guess that may be different in other areas, elevations, or aspects. We managed to milk the soft/hard line on a northerly aspect and ski down under marginal conditions.

Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate (Small trees sway)
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: