Minaret Vista Snowpack Obs

North side of Smuggler's Knob
Submission Info
Volunteer Observer
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 1:15pm
Red Flags: 
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured to the North side of Smuggler's above Minaret Vista today to take stock of near surface faceting on sheltered polar aspects, and warming on solar aspects. It was another gorgeous springlike day in the mountains, with well above freezing temps. Touring out we found plenty of faceted surface snow in sheltered locations, and even some of the old snowmobile tracks were softening. Solar slopes were mostly mini-penitentes, but by 1200 had softened to the point of being skiable.

We did some formal pit work on a sheltered NNE aspect at 9200', where we found a generally well-bonded snowpack structure though it is comprised mostly of densely packed facets which are showing some signs of rounding. The strong temperature gradient in the upper 10 cm of the snow pointed to near surface faceting. The surface had a slight temperature crust in the morning, but by 1300 hrs it has softened and did not seem to inhibit ski quality. No other signs of intability were noted, and no observations from the surrounding areas showed any recent activity. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
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Accumulation rate: 
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