Public Observation - Paola Mountain/Middle Fork, Flathead Range
Public Observation - Paola Mountain, Paola/Dickey Creek divide, Flathead Range
Flathead Range - Middle Fork Corridor
Date and time of observation:
Thu, 01/07/2016 - 12:00
Toured up the Paola/Dickey Creek divide and found some good slididng on north/easterly aspects. In general the the snowpack is a bit shallower than the drainages to the north and the Apgar Range, 50+/- at 4000' and about 130cm +/- at 7000'. Looking across at the Marion Lake divide, the runs dropping into Dickey Creek still look pretty brushy up to 5500'.
Winds were moderate out of the south during the day with noticable snow transport and develeoping soft slabs along the ridge tops and exposed areas (see picture).
North and east aspaects that were not wind affected skied well. 1-2" of new snow overlayed some small surface facets/1-2mm from last weeks clear weather, but these were hard to find and mostly in well protecected areas on north and east aspects above 5500'.
South east through north west aspects were cooked by last weeks warm temps(inversion) and sun. A supportable crust up to 2" thick, from 7000' down to about 5000' made skiing challenging, coupled with the alder at lower elevations, made one think that a couple more feet of snow would be good before a return visit. The crust is well bonded to to the adjoining snow top and bottom.
Have fun out there.