Observation: Summit

Location: Tenderfoot Ridgeline

Route & General Observations

Scouted Tenderfoot ridgeline and the back bowls for some soft powder stashes – came up dry…but the sunshine and light winds made for a great outing. There has been much wind damage with the strong NW winds during the past week.

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

One small crack in an old hard wind slab sitting on faceted snow. See photo. These old stiff slabs are roughly 3-12" thick and stubborn and hard to crack.

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

Sunny skies with some haze and high clouds on the horizon.
Cold. Temps in the 0-5F range
Winds were light from the West on the ridgeline

Snow surface

Wind damage is prevalent at Summit Lake. Mid and upper elevations harbored everything from hard sastrugi on the ridgeline as well as in valley bottoms to scoured old wind slab and crusts. Very little to no soft snow was found - in this area anyhow.


Summit lake still sports a very thin snowpack. The primary concern for triggering an avalanche was old hard wind slabs sitting on faceted snow. We had one small crack with little propagation. In general, we found only very stable snow and poor ski/riding conditions (low danger).

Snow depths with elevation:

Parking lot to ~1,500': 2-3" of loose snow over vegetation
1,500 - 2,500': Hard wind affected snow 1-2' deep
2,500' and above: Hard wind affected snow 2-4' deep

Photos & Video
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