Virginia Lakes Above Tree Line

Location Name: 
Virginia Lakes - Summit Pass
Region: 
Other Area
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 01/01/2021 - 12:00
Location Map: 



Observation made by: Avalanche Specialist
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Toured up into the alpine to 11,700ft near Excelsior's North Peak. Clear skies, warm temps, and calm winds in the morning gave way to overcast skies, and moderate winds in the afternoon. 

S and SE aspects warmed up in the morning sun and I observed some small rollerballing off of rock outcrops near treeline. There was a zipper sun crust present in these areas on our late afternoon exit. 

Above tree line many areas are wind scoured down to the ground but the areas that do have snow are heavily wind affected. Most surfaces are wind hardened with a mix of sastrugi, breakable wind crusts. and wind board. There is very little snow available for transport up there. I observed one several-day old wind slab on an ESE aspect above tree line HS-U-R2-D1-S. 

Protected areas still have some soft powder, but it's thin and we're filling in core shots with ptex today. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Cooling
Wind Direction: 
West
Accumulation rate: 
None