Observation: Summit

Location: Manitoba

Route & General Observations

We toured up the Manitoba common up track to see what the snowpack stability looked like at higher elevations. There was around 2-3″ of new snow and around 6″ in wind loaded areas. There was a crust below the new snow from the parking lot to the top of Manitoba (3,600′). We dug a pit on an east slope at 3,500′. There was a weak layer below the crust (2 to 3″ deep) that may become a concern if we get more snow on top of it. We saw a few shallow slab avalanches and dry loose releases on Gilpatrick as well as some fresh rollerballs on south aspects.

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

Mostly sunny skies with a few clouds. Winds were light from the north, but higher peaks were producing banner clouds which could mean the winds were higher at upper elevations. Temperatures were wintery and cold in the morning and spring like in the afternoon.

Snow surface

There was 2" of dry snow over a stout crust at the parking lot. At 2,400', 3" of soft snow was sitting over a 1" breakable crust that was easy to snowboard through. Wind load aspects had a thin, soft wind slab. The surface was slightly wind affected in mid to upper elevations.


In hand pits we saw a smaller crust below 2-3" of snow that sheared easily. The layer that sheared below the crust did have a weak layer that looked like it was rounding. We dug a pit at 3500' on an east slope. Our results were not concerning (CT22, ECTN27 down about 1') where softer was breaking above harder snow. We also did see a weak layer below the crust. The total snow depth was ~5' (160cm) in our pit but ranged to 250cm in more wind loaded areas. If we get more snow on this weak layer over the week and weekend than it may be something to watch out for.

Photos & Video
Please upload photos below. Maximum of 5 megabytes per image. Click here for help on resizing images. If you are having trouble uploading please email images separately to staff.