Professional Observation - New Crust and Buried Surface Hoar in southern Whitefish Range

Location Name: 
Professional Observation - Chicken Bones area, east of Whitefish Mountain Resort, southern Whitefish Range
Whitefish Range - Southern (south of Coal Creek)
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 01/13/2016 - 15:00
Location Map: 

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

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

Toured east of Whitefish Mountain Resort in the Ghoulies, Kona, Chicken Bones region. Snowfall and winds were mostly light all day, resulting in only minor loading. Could not get any slabs to release on small test slopes. No other avalanche activity was observed, but visibility was very limited due to fog.  However two weak layers exist in the upper 20 cm of the snowpack that could become problematic if a thicker and more cohesive slab were to develop on top of them (attached photo).

Above 6000 feet, I found 10-15 cm of new snow from today's storm sitting on top of a thin (2 mm) crust.  Found this crust on all aspects and observed some minor shooting cracks in the new storm snow that failed on top of this layer.

On an easterly aspect, I found a fairly well-preserved layer of surface hoar with feathery crystals up to 6 mm in diameter.  This was located about 4 cm below the above-mentioned crust and 14 cm below the snowpack surface.


Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light (Twigs in motion)
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Snow/rain line was just below Whitefish Mountain Resort Base Area around 4000 feet.  It snowed all day at S-1 to S1 rate.  Winds were light all day, blowing mostly from the S-SW. Some serious fog.

Precip Rate: 
S1; light snowfall, 1cm/hour
High Temp. (C): 
Low Temp. (C):