Red Lake Area -Split Mountain -snow conditions

Split Mtn, south face
Submission Info
Monday, April 8, 2019 - 5:00pm
Red Flags: 
Rapid warming
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Went up to the south side of Split Mountain today. Took the Red Lk summer trail until we hit snow around 7400ft. Should have gotten up at 3am instead of 4am. Nearest weather instrumentation showed  freezing temperatures overnight, but just barely. The snowpack had a superficial freeze and was supportive on the way up, but heavy overcast conditions in the morning and apparently overnight did not help the snow refreeze very well. Overcast skies hung around most of the day, but lightened mid morning from the heavier conditions of early morning. It  felt like it was greenhousing throughout our tour today. There was a steady southerly breeze all day, and was swirling from all directions up high today. We made it up to 13,500ft on the south face of Split Mtn before deciding to turn around due to warming and the start of some minor roller balling. The south face above12000ft still held 3-6" of primarily moist new snow from last weeks storms. The south face really hadn't cooked down much yet, and was composed of a thick manky layer of sticky snow. Although the surface snow was well bonded to an older melt-freeze crust, it seemed better not to push further up, it was warming rapidly and wet-loose avalanche danger was a concern. At 1230pm there was the start of active shedding of small amounts of snow down the face. We transitioned and evacuated with haste.

Seems that even at very high elevations on southerly aspects , the golden hour for the best corn/pseudo corn skiing conditions has been around 11-1130 on southerly aspects the past few days. That is where surface conditions have actually cooked down to firmer supportable surfaces. Still alot of transitional snow everywhere on all aspects at high elevations.

There was two quite large old avalanches that had slid form the southeast corner of Mt Tinemaha and raked alot of rock and shrub debris across the summer trail. They hit Red Mountain creek and must of have been pretty impressive when they happened. They were certainly D3 avalanches.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Air temperature: 
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More detailed information about the weather: 
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