Observation and snowpit from Sardine Gully

Location Name: 
Sardine Gully
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:00
Location Map: 

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

Went up into the BWRA to check on conditions after our most recent storm.  Between Sunday night and Tuesday night upper portions on the BWRA received 3-4 ft of new snow, with rain levels around 7500' on Monday.  Here are the measured new snow totals based on elevation:

7000 ft: 8 in (since Tuesday afternoon),  8000 ft: 13 in (since Tuesday afternoon), 8800 ft: 37 in (since Sunday night)

I rode to Sardine Meadows then toured up Sardine Gully across the meadow from Hwy 108.  I did not notice any signs in instabilty or recent avalanches.  Conditions in the AM were spectacular with sunny skies, temps in the low 20's, and about a foot of new low-density snow from Tuesday night ontop of denser snow below.  I dug a pit at 9600' on a NE facing 31 degree slope.  The snow depth here was greater than 540 cm (17 ft)!  I found a mostly stable snowpack here with the recent storm snow bonding and consolidating well with no significant results in my stability tests.  There were some near-surface factes beginning to form in the upper 10 cm of the snowpack due to the previous night's clear and cold conditions.  Around 2pm, the conditions rapidly changed from clear and calm conditions to near whiteout with heavy snow and strong winds as a quick snow shower moved through.  It was snowing heavily at the trailhead around 4pm.

Of note: There was a report from the Marines that a large avalanche put debris across Leavitt Road and into the creek, about a 1/2 mile from the junction.  Sounds like it released sometime during the storm on Monday.  The groomers could not get past the debris but will be trying to carve a path on top of the debris pile over the next couple of days.  Until then, Leavitt Lake Road may be impassible past the slide path.  More info to come tomorrow. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 

Bridgeport Avalanche Center - Feb 22 Post Storm Report