Professional Observation - Skookaleel Ridge, Whitefish Range

Location Name: 
Professional Observation - Skookaleel Ridge, Whitefish Range
Region: 
Whitefish Range - Southern (south of Coal Creek)
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 03/19/2017 - 13:00
Location Map: 


Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

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

Dug two quick pits on top of Skook Peak today to examine the thickness and strength of the recently formed rain crusts as well as look into the moisture content of the snow after our warm wet weather.  The surface crust was generally supportable and firm, and noticably thicker on southerly (more solar) aspects.  Below that initial crust, a 30~50cm thick layer of sandwiched melt-freeze crusts and wet layers has formed from preferential flow and pooling (then refreezing) of water through the snowpack.  The layercake was more pronounced in the more northern aspect pit. The snowpack in both pits was quite moist as far as we dug.

Pit #1 - SW aspect - 6800 feet - 22° slope - 135cm total depth: 10-15cm thick surface melt-freeze crust (P+) on top of 25cm of moist rounds and soft crusts (1F+) with wet looser snow below (1F-). No stability tests done - gusting winds quickly re-froze the pit wall.

Pit #2 - ENE aspect - 6800 feet - 34° slope - 350cm total depth: 3cm thick surface crust (K-) above a 10cm layer of decomposing forms and graupel (4F) with a 35cm layer cake of melt-freeze crusts and wet grains transitioning into a 1F hard consistent wet-rounds snowpack below.

Results from Pit #2 - ECTN3@347, ECTN8@335, ECTN12@330, ECTN19@310 & CT2@347, CT14@335, CT18@330, CT22@310

No collapsing, cracking, or new avalanches observed today.

Snowpack photos: 
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

The surface crust easily supported boot-packing and made for tricky skinning.  The corn cycle seemed to start later than expected (around 1:30pm), we suspect due to the consistently light winds with regular moderate gusts keeping surface temperatures low.  The runnels are well developed and wide-spread, making for exciting skiing on all aspects!

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
50% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Static
Wind Direction: 
West
Activity: 
Skiing