Tumalo Tour in new snow

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017 5:34 AM
Mike Maurer
Pro Ob
Three Sisters Area (44.005087, -121.642299)
Ob Date/Time:
Mon, Mar 27, 2017 - 10:03 AM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:
Ski or Snowboard

Written Report:
With 20" or so of new snow over the past 5 days in mind, I skinned up Tumalo at first light this morning to check the condition of the upper snowpack. Light westerly winds and light to moderate (S1-2) snow were present thru the tour. I skinned up thru 10-20 CM of light (F) snow to the bench, where the snowpack became firmer and a bit more wind packed (4F). I checked the snow and found our dominant crust buried ↓ 45CM. Multiple shovel tilt tests revealed several layers within the upper snowpack (Pic 1). Shovel tilt results were moderate, but the layers that were ID'd were numerous. Compression results were hard, and only noted at an interface ↓ 21CM, and were resistant planar (CTH (21) ↓ 21 CM RP). I go no releases of any kind at the new snow/old crust interface, consistent with Gabe's findings last Friday.

At the summit ridge visibility was like being in a ping pong ball, but I was able to make out widespread cornices across the rim. Conditions did not allow me to drop into the bowl so I found an ENE area to check the upper snowpack. The crust was only 20 CM down at this point but nonetheless I was getting multiple easy shovel tilt test results at an interface down 15 CM. The snow was not dense enough to get good compression test results (4F) at such a shallow interface, so no results were noted. Skiing down through the trees was epic, and should not be missed today if you can get up there.

I would guess that based on my findings today and the release noted Saturday at Soda Peak the recent snow/upper snowpack is currently very sensitive on loaded north thru east aspects near and above treeline. The new snow continues to be well bonded to the previous crust. Snow will taper off today and a rain/snow mix is forecast for mid week. I would keep an eye on the effects of the warmer temps and weight of the precip coming mid week on the multiple layers that exist in the upper snowpack currently.

On a personal note - I'll be taking care of some personal stuff in April so this will be my last report for this season. Thanks once again to all for letting me be of service to the community and enjoy the long spring ski season we're sure to have!

Mike Maurer

Weather & Snowpack
Temperature: -7°C Sky: Obscured skies Precip: S2 Moderate snow Wind: West @ 1-16 mph
New Snow: 45 cm Snow Depth: 300 cm Elevation: 7450 ft Aspect/Slope: West / 25°


Caption: Current layers in upper 45 CM