Public Observation - Essex Mountain, Flathead Range

Location Name: 
Public Observation - Essex Mountain, Flathead Range
Flathead Range - Middle Fork Corridor
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 12/28/2016 - 12:00
Location Map: 

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

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

Toured to Marion Lake today and ascended Essex Mountain hoping to find sheltered terrain on North aspects. While skinning, we experienced whumphing in obvious wind loaded terrain. A soft, 30cm surface wind slab was noted on the lower density snow that feel earlier this week. Although not entirely cohesive, it was fairly reactive in ski cut tests on steeper, wind loaded terrain. We avoided those areas with ease and found good, consistent storm snow that skied well top to bottom. We exited via the East aspect of Essex Mountain. Cross loading was fairly evident in the higher terrain but soon we were in more sheltered terrain as we progressed lower down the chute. Again, skied great to valley floor with "moderately decent"  coverage below 5000ft. 

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% 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