Patricia Peak

Submission Info
Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 12:00pm
Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Obvious avalanche path
37° 28' 43.068" N, 118° 44' 42.972" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Route: Up Hilton moraine from East Fork parking, SE along moraine to below NE bowl of Patricia Peak, back down the same way.

1030- Winds aloft from the W but local channeling had them blowing from the S in Rock Creek canyon. Light winds with moderate gusts at the trailhead and up the moraine. N aspects wind loaded. Some localized rolling and saltation of loose snow from the wind. Hand shears on the way up the moraine failed with moderate force above a 1F crust. Snow above the crust was mostly unconsolidated F+ near surface facets. Kick turn tests produced some shallow, localized cracking but nothing past the tips of my skis. Top 70cm of snowpack on the moraine (E aspect, 8900'): 0.5cm wind skin over 30cm of F facets over 2cm of 4F wind deposit over 5cm of F facets over 3cm of 1F MFcr over 10cm of facets over 10cm of P MFcr over large (5mm) faceted rounds. All snow dry. Foot pen. at the top of the moraine: 50cm.

1145- Continuous light S winds at higher elevations. So localized rolling snow. Some blowing snow coming over the ridge and cliffs on Patricia (see photo). Almost every surface above 9500' was wind effected.

1200- Breakable 10cm wind crust over near surface facets on S and E aspects. Tests on this layer produced inconclusive results. Dug on a NE aspect at 10500': Shovel tilt test easy planar results, CTE SP down 10cm x2, ECTN4 down 10cm, PST 15/100 Arr down 10cm. Didn't dig deeper than the thick MFcr from early February which is down between 50 and 70cm depending on previous wind loading.

1230- Skiing on open slopes at higher elevations was breakable crust. Down in sheltered trees was a combination of breakable crust and surface facets.

Snowpack photos: 
Localized blowing snow on Patricia Peak
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 
-- placeholder --

ESAC receives significant financial support from ...