Observation: Summit

Location: Fresno Ridge

Route & General Observations

Toured from the road @1100′ up through the east facing alder/meadows to the ridge. We traveled up the ridge to 3100′. As expected the snowpack was shallower than Turnagain pass. HS ranged from 80cm-140cm. The Alpine is very wind effected.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Observer Comments

None observed. Poor structure and reactive snow was found in one of our snow pits.

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

Scattered clouds
Light NE wind
Temps: 30F @ 1100', mid 20Fs @ 3000'
No precipitation

Snow surface

1100'-2100' 1" breakable to zipper rain crust over moist to dry snow
2100-2800' settled storm snow with 4-6mm surface hoar in protected area, wind crust (the east facing terrain was subtly cross loaded)
2800'-3100' wind crust, rime crust, sastrugi, completely scoured


We dug in a protected spot @ 2800' specifically looking for the buried surface hoar (BSF) layer from prior to Xmas. E aspect, 22 degree slope. HS was 135. BSF was present at 60cm and visible as soon as the pit wall was exposed. It was sandwiched between two layers of 1F hard snow. It was buried upright and intact (8-10mm grain size). It was reactive in our stability tests: CT 24 SC, ECTP 24 SC. The Thanksgiving Rain Crust was also visible. It was at 25 cm and had a layer of soft rounding facets on top but was non-reactive in tests. There was also moist basal facets.
We dug in couple of other spots at lower elevations and did not find the BSF. There were a number of rain crusts in the snowpack below 1800'. No significant stability test results.
Hand pits in wind loaded areas produced easy to moderate shears but no cracking when breaking trail or jumping on test rolls in the same terrain.

Photos & Video
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