Professional Observations - Patrol Ridge, Skyland Area

Location Name: 
Professional Observations - Patrol Ridge, Skyland Area
Flathead Range - Marias Pass/Skyland
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 01/13/2016 - 14:00
Location Map: 

Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity

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



We noticed roller balls below 6500 feet that were the result of tree bombs melting and falling from trees. Also we noticed the reamains of a recent avalanche on Slippery Bill mountain that looked like it might haves started as a cornice failure. It was small relative to the path and traveled approximately 1000 vertical feet. 

Patrol Ridge: A quick pit at 6900' on a North aspect revealed a largely "right side up" snowpack with generally increasing density from the surface to the dec 9 crust. The total snow depth was 150 cm at our pit location.There were three distinct layers surround the December crust that alternated between approximately 2 cm of knife hard crusts separated by approximately 2 cm of 1 finger hardness. Below the crust was sugary unconsolidated snow to ground.

We conducted 2 ECTs and got ECTN6 and ECTN4 at 13 cm from the surface. This may have been a on a small layer of facets (buried surface hoar?) not identified as a specific layer. WThe first ECT had a second ECTN28 approximately 40 cm from the surface that we could not replicated in the second test.

In general the snow was good from 6900-6500 feet. It progressively got heavier as we decended below 6500 feet..but still fun to ski. 






Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Mixed rain and snow
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

light but wet precip throughout the day. 

Precip Rate: 
S -1; very light snowfall, trace to 0.5cm/hour
High Temp. (C): 
Low Temp. (C):