Observation: Summit

Location: Fresno

Route & General Observations

We toured up to 3,400’ on Fresno to check out the snowpack structure at that elevation. We were also curious about surface conditions with another storm approaching this weekend.

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

It was a beautiful day, occasional light NW wind, sunny, and 0 degrees when we started at 10:30am. There was a little bit of valley fog that rolled in from the north as the day progressed.

Snow surface

There was about 12” of soft new snow on top of the Thanksgiving crust at the road. At about 1,500’ we noticed surface hoar. It was difficult to tell at first if it was surface hoar or really large (4mm) stellar’s. It was a mix of both. The surface hoar disappeared at 2,600’ where we found just a few inches of new snow on the surface (above a wind slab) that had some texture from wind, but was mostly still soft.


We dug a pit at 3,400’ on a south aspect. It was 3’ deep in the location that we dug. We found poor structure with a 2’ wind slab sitting on a thin layer of facets above the Thanksgiving crust. The Thanksgiving crust is 4” thick and sitting on a thin layer of facets that are on the ground. This structure has all the ingredients to make an avalanche with a slab of harder snow sitting on a layer of weak snow. However, we did not get any results in our stability tests so the snowpack in this location, at this time, is strong.

Photos & Video
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