Twin Lakes, Cattle Creek - Fresh Snow Cracking

Location Name: 
Twin Lakes - Cattle Creek
Region: 
Other Area
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 03/10/2021 - 12:00
Location Map: 


Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

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

Toured up Horse Creek and down into Cattle Creek staying mostly below tree line on northerly slopes today. Skies were broken with on and off light to moderate snow showers and other times of sunshine. Temperatures were cold. Winds were light to moderate, even below tree line, with some strong gusts at ridge tops. 

There was an inch or two of fresh snow down by Twin Lakes, but that amount increased as we gained elevation. Up at 8,500 ft there was around 4" of new snow with wind drifts up to 10" deep. The snow was wind affected most places below tree line. We observed cracking and collapsing in fresh wind drifts failing 2-4" deep on a density inversion within the new snow. Quick hand shear tests showed clean failures on the density inversion and rougher failures on the new/old snow interface. Not enough snow for storm slabs below tree line, but there may have been some isolated small wind slabs and small loose dry avalanches on steep slopes. Significant amounts of blowing snow were visible in the alpine and I suspect wind slabs would have been larger and more hazardous up there. 

The sun was shining more than expected today. We only traveled on northerly slopes where the snow remained dry. However, looking across the valley the fresh snow on southerly slopes appeared to be getting moist and melting at lower elevations. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Yes
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Precipitation: 
Snow
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Accumulation rate: 
Less than 1 in. per hour
More detailed information about the weather: