Observation: Summit

Location: Manitoba

Route & General Observations

Toured to 2900′ on the West face of Manitoba. We were looking for buried surface hoar (BSH) in protected areas in the terrain.

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

Overcast-obscured with a few breaks throughout the day
Snowing S-1 in the afternoon for 2 hrs
Temps: mid-20Fs at elevation and 32F at the parking lot

Snow surface

1300'-1800' 1-5 cm rain crust with a trace of new snow over moist snow
1800'-2900' 4-6" settled storm snow or wind crust over dry snow


We dug @ 3 elevations. We specifically chose areas that were relatively sheltered from the wind to see if we could find the BSH that formed before the Xmas storms.

Pit # 1: 2100', HS=150 cm, 19 degree slope, S aspect, BSH was found at 70 cm up from the ground. It was easy to see in the pit wall. It was not reactive in stability tests. It was sandwiched between two pencil hard layers. We also found a layer of BSH 20 cm down from the surface below a 5cm rain crust. This was the surface hoar that formed 1/6-1/7. See pit photo.

Pit # 2: 2400', HS=200 cm, 24 degree slope, W aspect, the BSH was found at 90 cm up from the ground. It again was easily identified in the pit wall. It was non reactive and again sandwiched between 2 pencil hard layers of snow.
No other layers of note in this pit. This was a bit more wind loaded area.

Pit # 3: 2900', HS= 135, 25 degree slope, W aspect, no sign of the BSH. This was a much more wind affected region. We probed across the slope at this elevation band. HS varied from 230-80.
Overall take home was that there is surface hoar in protected areas. The structure of this snowpack with a persistent grain type, a stiff slab above and a hard bed surface below warrants continued investigation in more of the Summit Lake terrain.

Photos & Video
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