Backside of MWTC

Location Name: 
Backside of MWTC
Date and time of observation: 
Thu, 02/02/2017 - 14:30
Location Map: 

Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

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

On Thursday, we rode up Hwy 108 past Sardine Meadows and up the groomed summer road that cuts right (north) from 108, which eventually connects to the MWTC (see photo 2).  There was about 6" of new high density snow on the ground which was being blown by strong SW winds up high.  The wind was forming cornices and loading northerly facing slopes on exposed portions of the summer road.  We observed a small natural wind slab avalanche (photo 3) and talked to a snowboarder who triggered a small wind slab on an exposed northerly facing slope just north the the summer road cutoff (see previous observation for more details).  After riding around a bit on the summer road, we skinned up a northeast facing slope at 8800', NE of the base and dug a pit.  We found 8" of new snow from the previous night and the 18-Jan rain crust buried about 3 feet below the surface.  We did not see any signs of instability and our stability test did not propogate any fractures.  Overall, the snow on sheltered north facing slopes is still good and stable but exposed wind loaded slopes showed plenty of signs of instability.  With more snow and wind expected today (Friday) I expect the instability to increase even more.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: