Wet Snow Near Black Wall

Location Name: 
Black Wall Area - Donner Summit
Donner Summit Area
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 03/15/2017 - 12:00
Location Map: 
United States
39° 19' 32.8548" N, 120° 19' 2.622" W

Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Rapid warming

Observation made by: Forecaster
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Wet snow existed on all aspects in this area by 11 am. On the E-SE-S-SW aspects, deep unsupportable wet snow had formed and stepping into the snow resulted in sinking into wet snow up to mid-shin. On the northerly aspects, 1 to 2 inches of wet snow existed with more supportable snow below it. Ski cuts on steep test slopes did not release any loose wet instabilities, but several large cornice failures had occurred in this area within the last 24 to 48 hours. Some of these had entrained loose wet snow as the cornice pieces moved downslope. We witnessed one large cornice failure that triggered a large loose wet avalanche on the east face of Donner Peak. For more details on this loose wet avalanche click here.

Photo 1: Shin deep boot penetration into wet snow on a SE aspect at 7100 ft. 

Photo 2: Cornice failure that caused a small loose wet avalanche on an E aspect at 7200 ft. Likely occurred within the last 48 hours. 

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

Cloud cover cleared by mid-morning leaving sunny warm conditions along the northern portion of the Sierra Crest. Some cloud cover still existed over the Mt. Rose area.