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Observations

Dec. 10, 2018, 7:36 a.m. PST

Region: East Slopes Central - Lake Chelan to South of I-90
Observation by Rick Halstead

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Lake Wenatchee State Park

Snowpack: 2"

Dec. 9, 2018, 11:30 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River
Observation by Aaron Richards

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Weather: Overcast, S1 all day. Light to Moderate winds S/SE

Snowpack: Huntoon Point, SE aspect 5200’ CT very easy, sudden collapse 8cm down on old/new interface.

Dec. 8, 2018, 1 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Nathan Eigenfeld

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Above Surveyor Lake.

Route Description: Parked at Silver's, meandered up resort runs and FS roads.

Weather: Broken clouds. Light to moderate winds from S/SE. Temp was 25F.

Snowpack: Snowpack was ~45 cm total depth at 3100 ft on E/SE aspect. Snowpack layers were as follows: 1 cm one-finger hard wind buff on top of 15 cm fist hard near surface facets on top of 1 cm knife hard ice crust on top of 30 cm of pencil hard melt freeze grains. Measured pit was on 27 degree slope. Some sporadic basal facets present. Widespread surface hoar up to 36 mm on nearby wild sheltered areas. CT, ECT and PST tests had no results.

Avalanches: n/a

Dec. 8, 2018, 10 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River
Observation by Remo Cocco

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Paradise to skyline trail

Route Description: Headed up towards camp Muir along skyline trail. Transitioned to ski out about 500ft below the entrance to the nisqually chute. We hiked out towards panorama point after about 500ft of descent.

Weather: Clouds until about 11, then bright and sunny. New precipitation.

Snowpack: Ski supportable crust roughly 1-5 inches below some new snow. Dug a small pit around 7200’ - snow was ~67cm deep. 4 finger snow for about 4-5 inches then 1f for the rest of pit. Performed a shovel tilt test with no result. Lower on the descent (roughly 6000’) in a steeper section part of the top crust did break and propagate in a roughy 4’x4’ area but didn’t slide very far.

Avalanches: No new avalanches observed.

Dec. 7, 2018, 9 a.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Matt Hartman

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Stevens Pass

Route Description: This is a compilation from Skyline Ridge, Stevens Pass Ski Area, Lichtenburg Peak, and Arrowhead Mountain from Dec 1-6. Elevations from 6,000' to 3,000'. All aspects.

Weather: Cold temps and Light East winds have been the predominant weather since Dec 1 snowfall.

Snowpack: At the crest, 80-100cm at ridgetop. Basal snow is damp rounds under a thick rain crust that is supportable. Above the crust is 20cm of facets and surface hoar that is widespread. Some solar aspects have developed suncrusts at the surface. Surface Hoar is large and well developed. See Photos from Skyline Ridge. Snow depth diminished as you head East of the pass. Snow surfaces are weak. Some very light windslab formation was noted on West slopes near treeline on Dec 6.

Avalanches: Some small Dry-Loose avalanches and sluff in steep terrain.

Dec. 6, 2018, 4 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes Central - Lake Chelan to South of I-90
Observation by Joseph Dellaporta

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Rock Mtn/ Nason Ridge.

Route Description: Hiked/ skinned up the Rock Mtn trail.

Weather: Overcast. No precipitation. Winds coming from the east and gusty. Temperatures in the mid 20’s.

Snowpack: Once above 5000 ft, surface hoar was found. The height of snow at 5700 ft on a SW aspect was 77 cm. Test results indicated ECTN and CTN. Below 5000 ft is pretty shallow patchy.

Dec. 5, 2018, 4 p.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass
Observation by Joseph Dellaporta

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Stevens Pass - Skyline

Route Description: Skinned up road to ridge.

Weather: Clear sky. No precipitation. Winds blowing from E 5-10 MPH. Temperatures in mid 20’s.

Snowpack: Widespread surface hoar was found. Height of snow at 5000 ft was 88cm. Did a quick compression test, which resulted in CTN. The snowpack up there is still shallow. Good skiing can be had on the road and adjacent to it, but trees are still a bit shallow.

Dec. 5, 2018, noon PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? Yes

Area Description: A visitor reported triggering a shallow wind slab while snowshoeing from Paradise to Panorama Point in Mount Rainier National Park.

Route Description: Popular snowshoe and ski route 20 minutes out of Paradise parking lot, between Alta Vista and Pan Face.

Weather: Winds out of the East at 10-25 mph

Snowpack: Wind deposit snow in the lee of a small ridge.

Avalanches: 6-12" crown. 100 feet wide, running ~30 feet to shallower slope. Visitors were on snowshoes and report that they "scrambled out" of the slide and grabbed a tree.

Dec. 4, 2018, 11 a.m. PST

Region: Stevens Pass

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Jove Peak

Route Description: Up S side Jove peak from rd. 6700 c4000 ft. Skied one short lap off NE aspect and then up and out prominent S-facing slide path.

Weather: Clear with occasional VF, winds calm with light E flow at ridgetops.

Snowpack: At 4k approx 10cm light storm snow atop rain crust, with a marked increase in storm snow depth c5k as expected. Widespread surface hoar was present in sheltered areas at all elevations. Of interest was a weak sun crust, localized to very steep (greater than 35*) due S aspects. This predated the surface hoar formation. At 5900 ft on a NW aspect, 30 cm of storm snow sat above the extremely strong rain crust. The upper 15cm of the snowpack was F hard, with a transition to 4f above the crust. Below the crust, faceted rounds transitioned to basal facets and shrubbery. Some wind affect was observed near ridgeline, but with limited cohesion or slab characteristics. Light blowing snow was observed.

Avalanches: N/O

Dec. 4, 2018, 8 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Skyline Divide

Weather: Mostly clear/sunny; cold temps with highs in 20s and lows in 10s.

Snowpack: Surface hoar observed, see photo.

Dec. 2, 2018, 3 p.m. PST

Region: Snoqualmie Pass
Observation by Forrest Barker

Did you see any avalanches? Yes
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: N face of Chair Peak

Route Description: went winter trail to source lake, up and over to saddle above snow lake, up E ridge of chair peak to 5k wrapped around to N face, climbed steep snow and ice on N face

Weather: little to no wind, ~8" fresh snow. cloudy during the day, clear skies starting ~16:00. Temps between 24 and 30.

Snowpack: Very strong and supportive raincurst under fresh snow. Rain crust varied from ice to knife hardness up to 2cm thick. New snow slid on rain crust on slopes above 40 deg but without propagation. Snow under rain crust was not explored

Avalanches: D2 R2 on N Face of Chair Peak 50deg slope. crown 20-30cm. ~2in fresh snow atop of debris.

Dec. 2, 2018, 1 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? Yes
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: MRNP. Below the ridge running from Pan Point to McClure rock. Elevation ~7000. S-SE aspect in some small chutes in a rock band

Route Description: Skier began to traverse top of chute, turned and entered the chute. Slide pulled out beyond skier

Weather: Sunny, some clouds moving in. Wind out of the East. Fairly cold.

Snowpack: A little over a meter deep below the chute. Snow was light, unconsolidated snow. Looked to be lots of wind transport (sastrugi, wind scoops, scoured areas, cornice) in the area, including adjacent slopes.

Avalanches: Slab pulled out just as skier turned and ran the length of the chute along the rocks. Appeared as a cohesive slab at the start that broke up. Bed surface looked like possible rain crust from last week. Picture below.

Dec. 2, 2018, 1 p.m. PST

Region: West Slopes South - South of I-90 to Columbia River

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Van Trump park

Route Description: Trail to Comet Falls, were able to start skinning on thin snowpack in the trees ~200' above falls. Once in the near treeline, snowpack increased significantly. Topped out at 7000' and skied from there.

Weather: Mostly cloudy with sunbreaks. Clouds moved in for our descent, unfortunately.

Snowpack: 110 cm depth measured at 6200' in a sheltered, flat spot. Soft, fluffy powder in the top 25-30 cm atop the rain crust from Monday. We did not feel the crust while skiing. Steeper S slopes developed a 1 cm sun crust when the clouds arrived.

Avalanches: Some pinwheels and small loose sluffs observed from steep terrain during sun breaks. Main takeaway: while new snow appears well bonded to the underlying crust, the upper snowpack is faceting. With the high pressure this week, I would expect faceting to get worse. This could form a layer of concern with more snowfall, especially on shady slopes.

Dec. 2, 2018, noon PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Mt. Baker, Heliotrope Ridge trail to edge of Coleman glacier at Hogsback camp ~6k feet elevation.

Route Description: Above the treeline ~5k feet snow was fresh and powdery. Off trail my boots would sink into it about ankle deep. The snow compacted well enough to kick steps when necessary. Saw some skiers skinning further up past 6k feet.

Weather: Clear, calm winds

Snowpack: Powdery

Avalanches: None witnessed, no remnants seen.

Dec. 1, 2018, 1 p.m. PST

Region: East Slopes North - Canadian Border to Lake Chelan
Observation by Drew P

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: At 5800ft elevation near summer trail to Cutthroat Pass. Heavily treed SE aspect.

Route Description: Toured to near Cutthroat lake from Hwy 20 and continued part way up towards rib ENE of Cuthroat Pass.

Weather: Mostly clear. Winds calm. Air temperature mid to high 20s F.

Snowpack: In a medium-sized clearing: Hs 75. Density increasing almost linearly from F+ to 1F above what appears to be a deteriorating melt-freeze crust ~60cm from surface. A thin (0.5-1cm) layer of small (1mm) facets atop the crust was reactive in snowpit tests (CT22 Q1, ECTP23, PST inconclusive at 45/END). Beneath the crust and the ground were was an 8-10cm layer larger (2.5mm) well-developed basal facets.

Dec. 1, 2018, noon PST

Region: Stevens Pass

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Stevens Pass- Powerline pass c 5k feet

Route Description: Skied various aspects on front and back side of Stevens Pass Resort

Weather: OVC S-1 trending warmer and less showery throughout the day

Snowpack: 35 cm of light fist-hard snow atop a strong rain crust. Total HS 80 cm. Quality skiing above 5k feet, slightly thinner and more marginal below.

Dec. 1, 2018, noon PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Ruth Mtnand Hannegan Pass.

Route Description: Standard route up to Hannegan Pass and around the east side of point 5930.

Weather: Some morning fog low in the valley. Clear cold day for the rest of the day.

Snowpack: Dustings on rocks and trail, not skinnable until 4800' Skiing not advisable below Hannegan Pass. Main gully down the north size of 5930 skiable, but creek is open at the bottom. 10+ inches of cold light and dry snow between 5930 and Ruth with little evidence of wind transport except for some scouring on the main ridge, light breeze from the East. Poor pit dug, with good bonding between newer 10" snow and what looked like Thanksgiving weekend rains "crust" which sits on top of a fairly homogeneous but wet snow pack. Only other noticable layer was another crust layer from roughly Nov 16. Hasty pit led to speculation that this layer could be less well bonded to the snow above and more reactive than the Thanksgiving crust. Lastly, and most observable, was the begining formations of surface hoar above treeline and on some shaded (northerly)

Avalanches: Old debris off the north and south sides of 5930, likely wet snow from last warm up/ rain. No other activity. Sluffs

Dec. 1, 2018, noon PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Ruth Mtnand Hannegan Pass.

Route Description: Standard route up to Hannegan Pass and around the east side of point 5930.

Weather: Some morning fog low in the valley. Clear cold day for the rest of the day.

Snowpack: Dustings on rocks and trail, not skinnable until 4800' Skiing not advisable below Hannegan Pass. Main gully down the north size of 5930 skiable, but creek is open at the bottom. 10+ inches of cold light and dry snow between 5930 and Ruth with little evidence of wind transport except for some scouring on the main ridge, light breeze from the East. Poor pit dug, with good bonding between newer 10" snow and what looked like Thanksgiving weekend rains "crust" which sits on top of a fairly homogeneous but wet snow pack. Only other noticable layer was another crust layer from roughly Nov 16. Hasty pit led to speculation that this layer could be less well bonded to the snow above and more reactive than the Thanksgiving crust. Lastly, and most observable, was the begining formations of surface hoar above treeline and on some shaded (northerly)

Avalanches: Old debris off the north and south sides of 5930, likely wet snow from last warm up/ rain. No other activity. Sluffs

Dec. 1, 2018, 11 a.m. PST

Region: Mt Hood
Observation by Alexander Vasarab

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Timberline Lodge, 5950-8400'

Route Description: Palmer Glacier up/down

Weather: BKN, -3 C, L winds out of NW, no blowing snow.

Snowpack: At 6,000' on E aspect: HS 55cm. HST 25 cm atop 12 cm thick crust (crust was P with a spot of 1F towards the bottom). CTN, ECTX, STH (Q1) down 25cm.

Dec. 1, 2018, 9 a.m. PST

Region: West Slopes North - Canadian Border to Skagit River

Did you see any avalanches? No
Did you trigger any avalanches? No
Was anyone caught in an avalanche? No

Area Description: Yellow Aster Butte.

Route Description: Standard summer trail

Weather: Partly sunny with building clouds toward the afternoon

Snowpack: 4-6 inches of blower over everything. No real snowpack below 4500ft. At 5k and above you can find areas with 1-2 feet of pack. Lots of dry/loose slough but manageable. No crowning or evidence of slides. Plenty of tree bombs and melt out debris coming off cliffs and rocks. Particularly on southern facing aspects. Southern slopes were effected by the sun by late afternoon. Shaded areas skied well throughout the day.

Avalanches: None