Red Lake Bowl / Black Mtn

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SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Red Lake Bowl / Black Mtn
Submission Info
Forecaster
Friday, January 19, 2018 - 6:45pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
Red Lake Bowl / Black Mtn 38° 2' 12.7968" N, 119° 16' 23.376" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up Red Lake Bowl to assess the new snow stability and any impacts it had to the Persistent weakness that has dominated much of the season to date. At the trailhead, noted a few small sloughs originating from very steep and rocky terrain on N to NE aspects on Mt. Owen and the headwall above Red Lake, primarily along ridgelines, likely early during snow onset, running short distances. Debris was covered with an additional ~10cm/ 4 inches of new snow. A surprisingly uniform 10 to 20 cm / 4 to 8 inches of low-density (~5%*) new snow throughout most of the basin. Snow appears to have fallen primarily post-frontal passage with minimal wind effect or slab tendencies from treeline and below. The light load has added little to the snowpack or total perceptible water. Some initial signs of slab tendencies above treeline in favored locations (drifts) but no propagation (slab barely discernable), hand-shears negative because snow was loose without slab characteristics. Wind ranged from calm to light westerly. No current blowing snow and little evidence of recent transported snow, snow surface was mostly uniform (+). Some previous crossloading noted on N thru NE aspects in the Alpine from light westerly winds. Numerous test slopes on NW – N – E aspects, elevation ranging from 11200’ to 9800’ produced minimal results with only small soughs where the snow is disturbed. Pole probing ~ 10,200’ and below found pockets of some exceptionally weak facets in sheltered locations. Non-reactive but possibly a problem with heavy loading. The new low-density snow is very transportable and fetches are well stocked, any increase in local winds or areas that channel wind may see localized Wind Slab formation.

Caution – still some small surface ponding occurring on the south side of Red Lake. Previously exposed rocks and reefs lightly covered, hard to see but easy to find.  

* Based on the Virginia Lakes weather site.   

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
West
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

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