Dream Peak, Northeast - New Snow Stability

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Dream Peak, Northeast
Submission Info
Forecaster
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 2:45pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
Dream Peak, Northeast 37° 44' 18.24" N, 119° 5' 44.16" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Observer: d lewis
Loc: Dream Pk, Northeast Face
Lat/Lon:37.7384, -119.0956
Elevation: 9350 f
Aspect: N Angle: 31°
Signs of Instability: Recent Avalanches, Wind Loading
Sky Cover: OVC
Precipitation: Snow, Moderate snowfall - 2 cm/hour
Wind Speed: Lightsubjective
Wind Direction: SW
Current Temp:-3.5°C
Blowing Snow: Light SW
Snow Depth: 237cm
New Snow Storm:35cm 
Snow Temperature 20cm:-3.5° C 
Boot Penetration: 40cm 4 Stability Tests: CT16 Q1 35cm ECTP11 Q1 35cm CT12 Q1 35cm Failed on graupel/rimed particles CT14 Q1 35cm

Comments: Toured over to Dream Peak from June Mountain to assess the new snow and the previous storm stability. In route, noted sustained moderate SW winds with loading along the ridgetop approach. Ski cut some minor test slopes, fractured at the break-over and down slope ~10’ (~2.5m). Consisted 4 to 8” (10 to 20 cm) new on the traverse with a melt/freeze crust below. At the base of San Joaquin mountain noted obvious weak layer down about ~15cm (~6”) while pole probing the surface snow. While ascending noted extensive recent tree damage and further up, debris along the bottom of the Dream Peak cirque. Appears that the northeast face released during the 3/1 to 3/ 3 storm, R4, D3+. Debris ran well out into the runout (~300’ +) and uphill (20’, elevation gain). Skied over to the apron below Dream Peak Northeast face. Pole probing indicated a weak layer ~20 cm (8”) down. Dug a quick pit and found two distinct layers of Graupel and rimed precip particles. Compression test were quite weak: CTE 4,6 @ 20 cm from surface, CTM11@ 20 cm from surface, all Q1 (SP). The slope was 29 degrees, north aspect, 10, 000’ elevation. Slope above was steeper, moved off given the results to a more protected slope for further analysis. Found similar results ~ 400’ vertical below. Same weak results. No additional weaknesses found within the upper 1/3 of the snowpack.  The graupel layer was only apparent on San Joaquin mountain, elsewhere 4 to 8 “ new bonding to a melt/freeze crust below. Snow total 237cm. Facets remain lurking from 0 to 65 cm, recent storm snow above. Surface snow in exposed or open areas 1 to 3 cm soft wind slab with some light wind scalloping, protected areas nil. Winds were light and variable direction once you dropped down off the approach ridge into the protected trees, otherwise SW, especially the meadows and Yost Lake where the winds are channeled. Noted several Loose Dry/Wet debris pile at the bottom of the large rock faces of Carson Peak.

 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Dream Peak Slide, Tree Damage
Dream Peak Slide, More Tree Damage
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Weather initally partly cloudy to mostly cloudy with scattered snow showers. Clouds increased and became overcast with light to moderate snowfall by mid day as forecasted,  snow S1+. Winds were pretty steady from the SW in exposed areas, light to moderate. 

ESAC receives support from ...