Facets near Contact Pass

Location Name: 
Contact Pass
Mount Rose Area
Date and time of observation: 
Wed, 01/03/2018 - 13:10
Location Map: 
United States
39° 21' 8.64" N, 119° 54' 10.332" W

Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing

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

While a few patches of snow did linger in some spots, snow coverage was mostly non-existent on southerly aspects up to 10,000 ft. Even on northerly aspects, decent snow coverage did not begin until above 8600 ft. Above that elevation on northerly aspects, snow depths ranged from 50 to 80 cm (20 to 32 in). Loose weak sugary surface snow (near surface facets) remained on open N and NE aspects in most areas. A very shallow layer of slightly more dense snow existed on top of these facets in some sheltered areas and some minor cracking occurred around my skis. These cracks did not go more than 6 to 8 cm (3 to 4 in.) from the sides of my skis because no real slab layer existed above the facets in those areas. In more exposed terrain near the ridgeline around 9400 ft, a thin hard wind slab existed on top of the facets and snowpit tests in that area yielded consistent unstable results indicating that fractures could travel through the weak layer if it breaks. 

Photo 1: Minor cracking around my skis on a N_NE aspect at 9200 ft. 

Photo2: Looking up at the coverage on N-NE aspects between 8800 and 10000 ft. while standing at 8600 ft. 

Photo 3: Coverage on E aspects between 8600 and 9600 ft. 

Snowpit or crown profile photo or graph: 
Snowpack photos: 
Snowpit videos (tests, etc): 

2018 - 01 - 03 ECTP near Contact Pass - Mt. Rose Backcountry

Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
75% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: