Observation: Summit

Location: Tenderfoot

Route & General Observations

Tenderfoot up to 3000′ on the ridgeline; down the ridge/northerly aspect

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

One small crown observed on a NW aspect of Moose just below ridgeline, in the bowl north of the communications repeater. The crown was ~200' across, but looked shallow, potentially a recent wind slab. See photo below for the extent of the debris of this ~D2 (the crown is too faint to show up in the photo).

Additionally, recent loose snow avalanches on steep southerly slopes of adjacent peaks.

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

Fairly dense clouds to the north and south, but scattered to broken skies over Tenderfoot for much of the day.
Calm winds. Temperatures rising above freezing at the road by the late afternoon, and the sun felt hot.

Snow surface

A breakable crust was present under 1-3" of soft dry snow to ~2000' on all aspects, with moist snow on steep SE-SW slopes by midday... but not enough heat from the sun to melt that breakable crust. Except at the road elevation where the surface snow was moist regardless of aspect by the time we left, the surface snow stayed dry on flats and anything facing just barely north above ~1600' through 4 PM.

Tenderfoot up to 3000' seemed to have escaped recent winds, with ski penetration of 1-4" up to 3000' on the ridgeline. Above 3000' the ridge had been hit by recent winds, so we turned around here and skied northerly aspects with 3-6" of ski penetration for the remainder of the day. Northerly aspects at and just above treeline had no evidence of recent winds!


Quick hand pits failed with moderate or hard force at the new/old interface from 3/30, breaking cleanly approximately 20-30cm from the snow surface. At 2500' on a 35 degree, N aspect with a total snow height of 160cm, a quick ECT that just tested the top 40cm of the snowpack scored ECTN 21, with a clean but resistant failure down 30cm at the 3/30 interface... in basically identical results to those observed on Gilpatrick North on 4/4.

Photos & Video
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