Santiam Pass Conditions

RED FLAGS
Whumpfing sounds or cracks
Observation Date/Time:
Sat, Mar 7, 2020 - 3:46 PM
Reporter(s):
Gabe and Nick
Location/Elevation:
Santiam Pass Area (including Three Finger Jack)
Report Type:
Snow Conditions   No Avalanche Activity  

Written Report:
We toured on the Southern shoulder of Three-finger Jack skiing most East aspects in a burn. Although we saw light blowing snow along ridgelines, we didn't see any wind slabs, probably because there was so little new snow. There was 5 cm. of new snow on an edge-able crust.

For the majority of our tour it was overcast and occasionally snowing, but never really piling up. The wind was light, but moderate at ridge-tops. We saw light blowing snow at ridgetops. At 5030 ft. at 11:00 AM it was -1 degree C. The snow depth was 255 cm. and there was 5 cm. of new snow.

It is notable that we experienced one small collapse in a NE facing meadow at 5770 ft. Upon digging in to the snow, we were surprised to find buried surface hoar down 25 cm. Even in the profile that we dug, this layer wasn't uniform, and in most locations that layer was actually a melt-freeze crust. I'm thinking this was a bit of an anomaly, and it didn't change our ski plan (we continued to ski steep, open, East facing slopes). This layer would be several weeks old, and I've heard no reports of avalanches on this layer, nor observations of it's existence anywhere else.

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