Mount Shields 3/24/13

From: brett timm 
Date: 3-24-13
Time: 1400
Location: Mt Shields Glacier National Park
Activity: Skiing

Snowpack Observations:
Ski toured on and around Mt Shields on Sunday. Perfect sunny day with very little wind. 0 F at sunrise in East Glacier. 8 F when we left the vehicle at 1000 am at the Fielding Trialhead. Toured up ridge to sub Shields. Minimal surface hoar observed at lower elevations on skin up. Significant surface hoar observed on all aspects above 6,000 ft (3- 5mm). Sunny throughout day, would expect surface hoar broke down to some degree on southerly aspects. Temp highs in the low 20’s at 6,000 ft.

Dug a pit on North/Northeast aspect (23 degrees), 30 degree slope, 6800′. Surface hoar at pit location was 3-5mm and did not appear to be breaking down (cold temps). HS 280 cm’s. We dug down 150 cm. Located several ice crusts (melt freeze/rain) in the snowpack). Of note a .5 cm ice layer down 20cm, a 6cm ice layer down 60 cm’s, and a significant layer (3 mm) of graupel down 90 cm’s. Significant temp gradient in the top 10 cm’s.

Compression test results
CT 14, Q3 at 20 cm on small facets on top of ice crust
CT 19, Q3 at 20 cm
Stuff Block test results
SB10, Q3 at 20 cm

Of note we were able to get the graupel layer to pull out Q1 with more force after finishing CT tests.

Snow on ridge tops available for transport. If increasing winds before increasing temps watch for surface hoar to be buried on northerly aspects