Middle Fork 3/12/13

BNSF RAILWAY AVALANCHE SAFETY

VOLUNTARY FIELD OBSERVATIONS

 3/12/13

Burnout

Steiner

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Toured up the old Shed 4D (Burnout) avalanche path today to conduct field observations in the Burnout avalanche starting zone and in the starting zone of Shed 4. Travel conditions were fair on ascent and descent… Breakable MF crust in upper 25 cm above 5,400 feet and supportable MF crust below 5400 feet elevation…Moist surface snow at all elevations.

WEATHER OBSERVATIONS:

Overcast skies and light to moderate snow throughout the day- turning to rain just after we finished tour. Light west winds in AM and increased in intensity throughout the day.

Air Ts on Canyon floor were in the upper 20s F in the AM and warmed into the mid-30s F by afternoon.

Wind transport of available snow was occurring on EASTERLY aspects at elevations above 5,600 feet.

SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS:

Test profiles conducted in bot h the Burnout and Shed 4 avalanche starting zones.

Burnout SZ:

5200’ elevation with a 38 degree slope and a south easterly aspect (130 degree azimuth).

 Time= 1155

 Air T= -1C

Snowdepth= 112 cm…Moist throughout.

Layer of concern= 51 cm from snowpack surface…Consisting of moist/ rounding grains beneath a moist decomposing 4 cm crust.

Stability Test Results: ECTP14 Q2 & ECTP13 Q2

Shed 4 SZ:

5800’ with a 35 degree slope and an easterly aspect (90 azimuth degrees).

 

 Time= 1330

 Air T= 0C

Snowdepth= 200 cm…Moist surface snow…Dry below 10 cm from snowpack surface.

Layer of concern at this profile location was located in the upper 25 cm and was interface between newly deposited snow and existing melt/freeze crust.

 Stability Test results= ECTP14 Q2.

AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS:

No Recent Avalanche Activity Observed.

 

 

BNSF AVALANCHE SAFETY FIELD OBSERVATIONS SUBMITTED TO FLATHEAD AVALANCHE CENTER AND GLACIER NATIONAL PARK ARE BEING PROVIDEDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS SPECIFIED GLACIER NATIONAL PARK SPECIAL USE PERMIT.

THESE OBSERVATIONS REPRESENT SITE SPECIFIC INFORMATION INTENDED FOR THE BNSF AVALANCHE SAFETY PROGRAM AND IN NO WAY ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS A PUBLIC/ RECREATION AVALANCHE FORECAST.