Observation: Summit

Location: Manitoba

Route & General Observations

Manitoba to 3600′

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?Yes
Collapsing (Whumphing)?No
Cracking (Shooting cracks)?No
Observer Comments

A variety of small slabs and loose snow avalanches observed on mountains neighboring Manitoba. Crowns from some larger avalanches - including one observed on Feb 2 - are still visible but largely filled in, and looked fairly similar to some smaller recent crowns. It appears that the past two weeks have produced a variety of slabs at a variety of thicknesses, elevations, and aspects... and the past few days have been no exception! See below for a few noteworthy slides - including all large slabs that we observed but haven't been reported yet.

Light to Moderate snow transport observed off Spirit Walker and Raven Ridge through early afternoon; larger plumes observed off peaks well to the south of Summit Lake in the AM.

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

Few clouds in the AM -> Scattered by afternoon, with Manitoba in the shade
Temps around freezing at the parking lot, low-20s up high
Winds fairly constant but light and from the SW above 2500'

Snow surface

6" of new snow fell overnight on 2/17 - 2/18, and on top of it surface hoar formed by this AM.
4-6mm at lower elevations. Smaller (1-3mm) along the entire route, including ridgeline, except for where the sun created a moist snow surface. This sun affect was limited to steep SE aspects today, where 2-3" of moist snow could be found by late afternoon. Southerlies and SW slopes seemed to have been spared, perhaps due to clouds coming in midday.

Ski penetration of 4-6" down low, decreasing to 2-6" above treeline. Recent winds textured the surface at ridgeline, but the snow was still quite soft.


Below the 6" of new snow, a soft but fairly thick melt freeze crust could be found until ~2500'.

Hand shear pits along the standard route up would generally fail 6-12" down with medium to hard force in places with recent signs of wind effect.

See pit below for formal stability tests and structure ~50' below the ridgeline. Probing for 100' of elevation gain to the the pit location revealed a total height of snow ranging from 240 - 300cm, with the New Years Crust down 110 - 150cm.

Photos & Video
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