Wheeler Crest Above Swall Meadows

SNOWPACK OBSERVATION
Wheeler Crest above Swall Meadows
Submission Info
Forecaster
Sunday, January 15, 2017 - 12:00pm
Red Flags: 
Rapid warming
37° 30' 13.0752" N, 118° 41' 3.3828" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

-Route:  From Rock Creek snowplay parking(8,900'), up west slope to top of Wheeler Crest (11,450'), down Easterly side down a main gully to Swall Meadows(6,500').  Plenty of snow coverage throughout!

-First signs of wind effected snow at 9,300' on west slope (some tiny pockets of 1" breakable windslab), but mostly soft powder snow, 1/2 way to boot top ski penetration.  

-9,600', West slope: CT test = No fractures (testing top 80cm of snow which included a wind crust layer and a rain crust layer lower down).

-Summit (11,400'): Calm winds, no visible wind transport of snow on any sourounding peaks, 1/4 sky covered with high thin clouds.  Some medium sized cornices over ENE facing slopes at ridgetop, that formed at multiple times (only outer shell was susceptable to breaking off when tested).  Top 20ft under cornices was dense wind-board.

-Easterly facing slopes from 11,400ft to 10,000' =  mostly powder snow on E to N facing aspects, while any slope with the slightest bit of S had some melt effect from sun.  

-Pit dug at 11,200' (see attached profile).  Minimal concern from several test results and layering analysis(see attached ECTX test - no results).  225cm deep snow pack.  No rain crust present.

-Pit dug at 10,000', NNW facing slope.  125cm total snow depth.  3cm thick rain crust 40cm below surface.  ECTN24, 5cm above this rain crust in 15cm thick layer of loose softer snow.  Below raincrust was consistent 1F+ snow to ground (no basal facets).   

-Below 9,000ft, steep south-east facing slopes had small rollerballs originating near rock bands.  

-Evidence of one tiny natural release on a NE facing slope ~9,000', which looked to have occured after main storm event (trigger could have been animal? ... there were animal tracks heading up this gully to summit).  

-Terrain skied included SE-E-NE-N-NNW aspects, with many small steep convex rolls = no signs of even small/micro slope fracture/failures.  

 

 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Air temperature: 
Wind Speed: 
Precipitation: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Some light NE winds in the morning, which died down by mid morning, calm from thereafter.  Sunny skies with some high clouds.  

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