Whumphing, collapsing, and unstable ECTs on Tamarack

Location Name: 
Far East Ridge of Tamarack Peak
Mount Rose Area
Date and time of observation: 
Sun, 12/08/2013 - 10:00
Location Map: 
United States
39° 18' 50.7528" N, 119° 54' 22.104" W

Red Flags: 
Whumphing noises, shooting cracks, or collapsing
Recent loading by new snow, wind, or rain

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

The new snow has consolidated some in this area. This consolidation has moved very slowly due to the cold temperatures. The new snow has become a soft slab above a layer of weak sugary facets (Dec. 7th facets) in the Tamarack Peak area. Several human triggered collapses and whumpfs occurred on near and below treeline N-NE facing slopes between 8600' and 9600' today. These collapses and whumpfs traveled across any open area that did not have tracks on it. The failures occurred as the Dec. 7th facets collapsed under the weight of a person. Snowpit data and tests confirmed this fact and also indicated that this layer remains weak and sensitive. The snowpit data indicated that even as the new snow has started to consolidate, it has also started to facet due to the frigid temperatures and shallow snowpack.

Some cracking also occurred in response to the weight of a skier on small wind loaded test slopes in near treeline terrain.

Barely covered rocks, stumps, logs, and other hard immobile objects lurked on all slopes today especially on those slopes facing the southern half of the compass. The shallow snowpack does not have enough structure or strength to keep a person above all those things right now. It only camouflages their existence.

Photo: Skier triggered crack on a small NE facing, wind loaded test slope at about 9000'

Video: ECTP resulting from the failure of the Dec. 7th facets.

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

Tamarack ECTP 20131208 144212

Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
Cloud Cover: 
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Air temperature trend: 
More detailed information about the weather: 

-18 degrees Celcius air temperature at 10 am.