McLoad Lake Trees

McLoad Lake Trees
Submission Info
Wednesday, December 27, 2017 - 3:15pm
Red Flags: 
Obvious avalanche path
Terrain Trap
McLoad Lake Trees 37° 36' 17.28" N, 119° 1' 53.04" W
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Observer: d lewis
Date: Dec 27, 2017, 6:09 PM
Mcload Lake Trees 
37.6048, -119.0314
Elevation: 8055 f
Aspect: NNW Angle: 27°
Sky Cover: -BKN
Precipitation: No Precipitation
Wind Speed: Calmsubjective
Current Temp:1°C Trend:➘
Snow Temperature 20cm:-5° C 
Boot Penetration: 15cm

Comments: Localized drift with some hollowish sounding slabs. 1 very small 5-10 cm wind slab on east aspect, ~9300'. Fractured easily. No other signs. Stability tests show continued decomposition of the upper melt/freeze crust and further faceting of the upper snowpack. The snow from 12/23 is showing some weak slab-like characteristics and failing on the well-developed facets below, though without an propagation potential. Once buried, this could be a problem layer. 5 Stability Tests: CT22 Q3 65cm CT13 Q3 82cm CT22 Q3 65cm CT14 Q3 82cm CT17 Q3 82cm

Decided to confront possible crowds at the Tamarack Trailhead, surprised to find parking was possible. Parking areas are quite icy. Possibly the most dangerous thing I encountered all day. Air temperature was mild (above freezing) with a moderately strong channeled westerly wind coming across the lower lakes. Lots of exposed ice on the lakes with little open water visible. Trail conditions varied from packed and icy to facets over a dense base. Below ~9000’, snow is exceptionally thin with maybe 6’ to 12” of snow and can be quite patchy. Above ~9000’ coverage becomes more consistent but depth remains a concern. As you approach McLoad Lake coverage is mostly good, depth varies from ~12 to 24” with favored areas in the trees creeping up to a bit over 3 feet. Snow surface varies greatly depending sun exposure, wind exposure, and drifting. Faceted snow can be found on sheltered N to NE aspects but anything that is exposed to the sun for any length of time is forming a melt freeze crust of varying supportiveness. The more breakable variety can be found on more easterly and westerly aspects, especially on slopes that receive intermittent sun and shade. No avalanches noted. No obvious wind transport. One isolated drift failure on a favored easterly aspect, 9300’. A recent Wind Slab over facets, failed on weighting but very localized (about  6’).  Stability test continue to show the melt/freeze layers in the upper snowpack decomposing/loosing strength while facets continue to flourish. Not so much a concern now but once buried could become a problem layer.  





Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
Accumulation rate: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Warm ambient air temp. Surface snow where sheltered, shaded, or northerly still cold enough for soft facets. Sun heating soalr aspects and forming melt/freeze crusts of varing stength and supportiveness. 

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