Ball Butte and Broken Top

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Saturday, Mar 30, 2019 3:15 PM
Phil Bowker
Pro Ob
Broken Top Area (44.067699, -121.674614)
Ob Date/Time:
Sat, Mar 30, 2019 - 2:34 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:

Written Report:
I arrived at Ball Butte this morning to a widespread blanket of 1-3mm surface hoar. Winds were calm and I could find surface hoar all the way to the summit of Ball Butte. At 9:30am the air temp on the top of Ball Butte was -4C. While this surface hoar will probably not last on the more solar or windy aspects, it will be interesting to check the more northern shaded and protected aspects as we move into the next storm cycle.

The new snow from the past couple of days seemed well bonded to the existing snowpack and as I skied east aspects of Ball Butte and Broken Top, I did not see any signs of instability (cracking, whumphing, etc). I dug on east aspects of both Ball and Broken Top but did not find evidence of the persistent slab problem.

By mid day the air temp had risen to 0C and the surface of the snowpack was becoming noticeably wet on solar aspects. Looking down west aspects into Broken Top bowl I observed falling rime ice creating pin wheels on the snowpack surface. There are still many sizable cornices around Broken Top and with spring temperatures rising above freezing they are worth treating with caution.

Great skiing today.


Weather & Snowpack
Temperature: -4°C Sky: Scattered skies
New Snow: 6 cm Snow Depth: 130 cm Elevation: 8073 ft Aspect/Slope: Northeast / 30°


Caption: Surface Hoar on Ball Butte