Black Mountain, Red Lake Bowl > North Face

Black Mountain, Red Lake Bowl > North Face
Submission Info
Monday, April 23, 2018 - 3:30pm
Red Flags: 
Obvious avalanche path
Black Mountain, Red Lake Bowl > North Face
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Observer: d lewis
Loc: Black Mountain
Lat/Lon:38.0391, -119.2776
Elevation: 11750 f
Aspect: NNW Angle: 40°
Signs of Instability: Pin Wheels
Sky Cover: CLR
Precipitation: No Precipitation
Wind Speed: Light bueafort
Wind Direction: NE
Current Temp:5 to 10°C Trend:
Blowing Snow: None
Boot Penetration: 10cm
Snow Stability: Good
Stability on similar slopes: Good
Avalanche Danger: Moderate

Comments: Toured up the eastern face of Black Mountain above Red Lake to assess the spring snow stability. Spring is in full force in Virginia Lakes. E-S-W aspects ski penetration 5 to 15 cm unconsolidated poly crystals by midday but supportive early. However, it was much softer (punchier) around rock bands and near vegetation and trees. Above ~11,000’ a bit of a light NE wind was helping to keep things cool, at least me, the snow didn’t seem to notice. Noted one small shallow skier triggered D1, NE aspect, ~11600’ from what appeared to be a couple of days previous. At the summit, south of Black Mountain looking toward the head of Lundy Canyon observed 4 recent D1’s on NE aspects above ~10500’, originating in steep or rocky terrain. Pretty much confined to areas that are beginning to warm for the first time. To the north, looked like there was 4 D1’s on the SE aspect of the western Twin Peaks, elevation ~12,600. Appeared to have occurred 1 to 2 days previous. No other activity noted. On descent, toward Cooney Lake, snow was a mix of soft moist loose snow from the latest storm but much of it had been blown out down to the firm early April AR storm snow. The more recent loose snow was prone to sloughing off where disturbed but needed to be in excess of ~35 degrees. Where the older snow was still quite firm and barely thawing out (top ~.5 cm ) and still fine grain. On further descent, more storm snow remained, still variable, best snow was old Wind Slabs, which offered the most consistent snow surface and supportiveness. All lakes the ice is starting to turn blue with inlets and out lets either free of ice or very thin. Extreme Caution!!! Personally, likely best to go around. Creeks are generally close to free of snow bridges, especially once your below Blue Lake (elev. ~9900’)  Noted some older debris from one of our larger avalanche cycles in March or early April that struck Blue Lake. Also noted some recent rollerballs on exit in the trees on the northern shoulder of Black Mountain (~10000’). Overall snow stability is good, especially if you time your travels to avoid excessively loose snow conditions.  

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Blazingly warm in shelted locations. 

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