Snowpack obs from around the BWRA

Location Name: 
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 03/14/2017 - 12:00
Location Map: 

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

Did a tour around the BWRA to see how the snowpack was handling the spring transition.  I did not notice much in the way of any natural avalanche activity besides a few rollerballs and pinwheels on sunny slopes.  People have been taking some very agressive lines all over the BWRA with no apparent signs of any instability.  I went up the slide path above lower Leavitt Lake Road and dug two quick pits, one on a SSE facing slope and one on a NE facing slope.  The SSE pit was shallow, only 140 cm deep, and had a mixture of wet snow/crusts all the way down.  Conversely, the NE facing pit showed a 5 cm layer of wet snow at the surface with dry snow below that.  Higher up in Leavitt Lake Bowl, I found dry snow throughout the snowpack on northerly facing slopes, even on the surface.  This means shaded northerly slopes have not undergone much transition to a springtime snowpack while solar slopes have mostly already completed the transition.  Up near the PCT crossing area, I noticed a brown layer on some leeward slopes, likely dust/dirt from the exposed ridgeline above blown onto the snowpack below.  I also noticed what appears to be the beginnings of some possible glide cracks in that same area.  We will need to keep an eye on these in the future.

Photo Captions:

1: Leavitt Road slide path SSE facing pit profile

2:  Photo of SSE facing pit

3: Leavitt Road slide path NE facing pit profile

4:  Photo of SSE facing pit

5: Lots of aggressive tracks above Leavitt Lake with no avalanche activity

6:  A small loose wet avalanche on a southerly slope

7:  A layer of dirt on the snowpack near the PCT crossing with some possible glide cracks beginning to form

8:  Lots of good snow still found on northerly facing slopes, like here in McKay Creek

9: Lower portions of Hwy 108 are taking a beating from heavy use and warm temps


Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Any other comments about the observation or links to outside pages that have more info on the observation: 

Lower portions of Hwy 108 have been getting hammered by recent heavy use and very warm temps.  Look out for sections of exposed roadway, which will only increase through the week.  For now, the road is still rideable from People's Gate.

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
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Above Freezing
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More detailed information about the weather: 

Very warm temps with 60's at the trailhead and upper 40's to lower 50's up high.  Light-mod SW winds beginning to pick up on exposed locations.