ECTP at Virginia Lakes

Location Name: 
Virginia Lakes above Red Lake
Region: 
Other Area
Date and time of observation: 
Thu, 12/31/2020 - 13:00
Location Map: 



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

I went for a tour up above Red Lake at Virginia Lakes today. I got up there around 11am and last night's storm had mostly cleared out. Skies were FEW in the afternoon. Winds were generally light with some moderate gusts, especially up higher. Temps stayed cool. New snow from last night seemed pretty minimal and wind affected. 

The recent winds have taken their toll on the snowpack in most areas. The snowpack is still quite thin and very variable, with wind crusts sometimes present at the snow surface and many areas completely scoured. It looked like there was a fresh thin wind slab or two up in Red Lake Bowl, HS-N-R1-D1-S. Somewhat hard to tell with all the wind textured surfaces around. Protected areas still had some soft powder from the storm on the morning of the 28th. 

I dug two pits, one on an ESE facing roll and the other on a ENE slope. Both were around 10400ft, near tree line. The ESE pit was very shallow, HS 35cm with 10cm of DF's on the surface and 25cm of 1mm facets on the ground. Lots of variability around this pit with rocks poking through in spots. Still, the facets likely formed a uniform enough layer to cause problems when we get a load. The ENE pit was on a loaded, more uniform slope. HS 90cm with 26cm of 2-3mm facets/depth hoar at the ground. ECTP16 down 6cm in the DH. 

Greatest hazard is probably still hitting rocks or triggering a small slide that takes you for a ride in unforgiving terrain.

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Light
Precipitation: 
None