Upper snowpack observation on North aspects

Location Name: 
Mount Emma
Other Area
Date and time of observation: 
Fri, 01/21/2022 - 16:00
Location Map: 

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

On Jan 21st we went into the Little Walker drainage to further investigate the faceting process within the upper snowpack on northern aspects.  We observed large-grained surface hoar that was intact, in open areas that had direct exposure to the clear sky.  Additionally, we observed sugary, near-surface facets in more sheltered areas below tree-line and at the near tree-line elevations.  This recrystallizing snow made for softer riding conditions within sheltered trees.  We dug a quick pit at 9400 ft on a NE aspect to assess the upper snowpack and found a layer of weak snow (4F hard) underlying a supportable crust.  This weak snow was approximately 15 cm down at this location and was comprised of mixed forms.  This layer is easily identifiable with quick hand pits.  Once above tree-line (above 9700 ft), snow surfaces became firm and variable, mainly consisting of sastrugi or firm wind drifted snow.  Ski crampons were helpful to navigate at these elevations.  Overall, shaded aspects will be worth watching as we move forward, especially if we start getting precipitation again.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: