Forecaster Observation - Cascade Creek, Flathead Range

Location Name: 
Forecaster Observation - Cascade Creek, Flathead Range
Flathead Range - Middle Fork Corridor
Date and time of observation: 
Thu, 01/28/2016 - 12:00
Location Map: 

Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain
Rapid warming

Observation made by: Forecaster
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

The snow below 5000 feet felt very "spring-like". We were able to trigger small wet, loose slides below 5500 feet on any little rollover (convexity) more than 35 degrees. Above 5500 feet we observed active wind loading on N, NE, E, SE slopes. Wind slabs were beginning to form, but we did not trigger wind slab avalanches. A new melt-freeze crust formed at the surface from recent warm temperatures adding to the plethora of crusts formed during the month of January (roughly about 4 crusts).

A new melt-freeze crust has formed at the surface above 5500 feet making the skiing less than ideal. Below 5000 feet, the snow was very heavy, and, to be blunt, the skiing was terrible. 

Stabilty test (Extended Column Test) results on an east aspect at 6400 feet. Total snow depth = 250 cm

ECTN 10 @ 225cm

ECTN20 @ 210cm

CT11 Q2 @ 235cm

CT12 Q1 @ 225cm

CT21 Q2 @ 210cm

The early January facet/surface hoar layer was located 80-805 cm from the surface. It did not fracture in our stability tests. In a Deep Tap Test, the score was DTT28 Q2.

Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 

January 28, 2016 - Middle Fork, Flathead Range

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
100% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Strong (Whole trees in motion)
Mixed rain and snow
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: 

Air temperature was 4ºC at about 4600 ft. Winds were calm below 5000 feet. Visibility was fair early in the morning, but quickly decreased to poor. 

Precip Rate: 
S1; light snowfall, 1cm/hour
High Temp. (C): 
Low Temp. (C):