Carl and I went up Seattle Ridge and dug this pit on a direct
southern aspect that was getting cooked in the sun. The
location was at about 3000′ on the Seward Hwy side of Seattle
Ridge directly across from Warm Up Bowl. The snowpack depth was
about 3.5 feet deep, which is a good example of a shallow
snowpack that we have been indicating as a problem area for
avalanches right now.
We wanted to compare the temperature profile with the pit dug on
Repeat Offender along Seattle Ridge dug on Monday 12/7/09. We
were interested in how the sun and above freezing temps are
affecting the stability.
Its been three days of sustained above freezing air temperatures
(between 2pm 12/6/09 and 2pm 12/9/09) reaching as high as 46
degrees at 3800′. We found that the surface snow at these two
pit locations has not changed much in the two days since I dug a
pit on Repeat Offender 12/7/09.
The sun and above freezing temps are warming the surface snow
about 6 inches deep, but there has been very little activity
observed. A few sun sluff or roller balls were observed
yesterday 12/8/2009 around noon. The surface of the snow has a
shiny sun crust appearance in spots, but it is not very crusty.
This warm surface snow may become more of a problem after the
next storm, but today it is not causing too many problems.
This particular pit showed good stability.