Observation: Summit

Location: Colorado

Route & General Observations

Toured up Colorado to 2200′ braving -22F in the morning near Moose Pass to a surprising -1F, which these days is pretty warm. We were interested in how much snow had fallen and if it was settling into a soft slab or reacting from an underlying weak layer between the old and new snow. Strong winds from the northwest were also blowing snow on the ridges moving a lot of snow. We also did some maintenance on the Summit snotel station with hopes that it will give us accurate snow depth data. Height of snow at the snotel station averaged 43″ (110cm).

Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.

Clear skies and strong northwest winds on the ridges, moderate gusts at treeline. -1F at the car.

Snow surface

Dry soft snow that had surface hoar growing on it. In open meadows around 2200' there was some wind affected snow. In the trees it was dry and soft. The mountains had rippled wind affected slopes higher up. Mountains on the east side of the highway (west aspects/slopes) were more affected by the wind.


110cm snow in our pit at 2200' on an east face. There was about 8" of new snow. No concerning results on the new/old snow interface or lower in the snowpack. The new snow sluffed away and did not have slab properties. The snow column took some effort to pry and it broke near the bottom just above a layer of firm snow at the ground.

Photos & Video
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