Observation: Summit

Location: Manitoba

Route & General Observations

This morning we toured up from the road and up to the ridge just before the peak section where the slope angle kicks up. From the road to the top we observed 1-2 cm of consistent surface hoar over varying thicknesses of crusts and wind slabs. We dug a pit on the Westerly face of the first major rollover to gain representative information of the aspects we intended to ski. We skied three laps successfully on slopes <25 degrees.

What to watch out for: Loaded westerly aspects that have formed a hard wind slab, particularly at the top of the rollovers onto these aspects as this presents a trigger point for the larger slabs below. Looking forward, the layer of surface hoar will likely present a problem with the forecasted snow.

Red Flags
Red flags are simple visual clues that are a sign of potential avalanche danger. Please record any sign of red flags below.
Obvious signs of instability
Recent Avalanches?No
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?Yes
Observer Comments

After digging a pit we worked upslope from the ECT location and observed noticeable thinning of the thick wind-slab layer that we were able to break free from the underlying softer snow. While touring away we observed similar thin sections of this thin layer that were very poorly supported in broke free slid downhill in large pieces

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

~12 deg F in the parking lot. Estimate into the 20's up on the main face (inversion). Very light breeze (<5 mph) out of the east. Sunny and clear for most of the day, transitioning to a high cloud layer.

Snow surface

1-2 cm surface hoar over 2 cm powder on top of varying thicknesses of hard, strong wind slab.


ECTX, but after hard stomps of ECT column we got it to break at the 2 Finger/Fist interface. Observed a very thin layer of facets creating weakness at this interface. The layers above the softer "fist" snow became progressively thinner as we worked upslope (less loading). Below is a top-to-bottom description of the column we exposed for the ECT:

Aspect: 258 Deg
Slope Angle: 22 Deg
Loaded? YES

1 cm surface hoar
2 cm powder
15 cm Pencil
20 cm 1 Finger
15 cm 2 Finger
35 cm fist
Facets then Rain crust below

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.