Observation: Summit

Location: North Gilpatrick

Route & General Observations

Toured up to brushline on North Gilpatrick. As we broke out of the forest (~2,000’) it was apparent that there had been wind effect to the snow surface prior to the most recent 5-7cm of new snow. The underlying wind packed snow was variable by aspect and elevation as we continued higher to 2,750’, but did not exhibit any cracking on our route, even on pieces of terrain 35+*. Goal was to take a look at the snowpack and particularly the snow surface prior to the incoming storm, so we dug a quick pit and then enjoyed good skiing back to the road.

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

Sky: overcast
Temp: -2C
Winds: mostly calm
Precip: none for most of our tour, started snowing lightly as we transitioned and skied out at 2p.

Snow surface

Below treeline the snow surface was well developed surface hoar crystals 0.5-1.0cm
Above treeline the snow surface was 5-7cm of new snow over a pretty soft but still noticeable wind effected layer.


HS: 140-145cm at pit location
Snowpack was more homogenous at this particular pit location that observed elsewhere in Summit Lake area recently, perhaps indicating a poor pit location of mostly wind deposited snow? Notably, the crust layers in the bottom 1/3 of snowpacks in the area recently were much less developed here; still identifiable visually, but without the abrupt changes in hardness seen elsewhere. All this leads me view this pit data and the test results with skepticism, I’m not convinced it’s a representative sample for the area.

From the top:
5-7cm new snow F
10cm wind effected snow 4F
20cm 1F
5cm 4F
40cm 1F
5cm P
60cm 1F to the ground

Test results:
CT12Q3 down 12cm (kind of in the middle of the wind layer?)
ECTN19 down 12cm

Photos & Video
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