Small Wind Slab Formation on Tamarack Peak

Location Name: 
Tamarack Peak
Mount Rose Area
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 01/21/2018 - 12:00
Location Map: 
United States
39° 19' 5.8368" N, 119° 55' 17.8644" W

Red Flags: 
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

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

Increasing West winds by late morning into the afternoon were moving snow in exposed terrain.  Small wind slabs were forming in the afternoon and were reactive to ski kicks in wind loaded terrain.  In a wind loaded area along the Far East Ridge of Tamarack Peak, the wind slab was up to 8'' thick-see photos. 

In 3 different areas, observations were done targeting the buried persistent weak layer.  All of these observations were done in near treeline and below treeline terrain near previous observations where unstable snowpack tests were recorded.  Today, snowpack tests were inconsistent throughout the terrain (ECTN - N Aspect 9200ft, ECTP - N aspect 9400 ft, ECTN - N aspect 9400 ft, 2m ECTN - N aspect 9400 ft, and ECTN -NW aspect 9150 ft).  In some areas, the faceted layer is dry and loose but in others, it has gained strength.  There were no other signs of instability associated with the persistent slab.

Photos 1 and 2: Small wind slab triggered by a ski kick on a wind-loaded test slope on the far east ridge of Tamarack Peak.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
Wind Direction: