Observation: Summit

Location: Manitoba

Route & General Observations

Two humans and 1 dog skied up the standard skin track at Manitoba. Temp was 25F with some light wind at the parking lot at 10:30am. Weather was overcast and flat light with some light snow later in the day. At one point, we confirmed that the sun existed and could see it through the clouds. Above the alders and on to the main face at about 2400 ft, the snow surface was soft and unconsolidated with no obvious wind effect. Ski penetration was 2 – 3 in. A quick hand pit showed that we could pull out the layer of new snow which was sitting on top of surface hoar about 4 in down. The hand pit also popped out on a layer of rain crust about 10 in down. Because we are nerds (a snow hydrologist and glaciologist), we decided to dig a pit at the last clump of trees on the main face at 2900 ft to compare to the previous Tenderfoot observations we had read about on Jan 13. Snow depth to bottom was 185cm. See pictures for snow pit details. We had both loaned our pit kits to friends (thanks friends for getting avalanche education!) so didn’t have tools for ECT, but did a quick ad hoc CT with no failure (but we didn’t expect much since layers of concern are deeper in the snow pack). Using a shovel to pull at the column we got failure and sliding on the noted crust layers.

Turns were great and Lukka the dog (and pit helper) had a great first day of becoming a backcountry ski dog.

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

Soft new snow, unconsolidated. 2 - 3 in of ski penetration.

Photos & Video
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