Observation – 3/25/2014 – John F Stevens Canyon, Glacier National Park, Lewis Range

 

BNSF RAILWAY AVALANCHE SAFETY

VOLUNTARY FIELD OBSERVATIONS

(406) 863-0476 Email: richard.steiner@bnsf.com

 

 

 

 
 

DATE

SUBMITTED:

TIME SUBMITTED:

OBSERVATION LOCATION

OBSERVATION

DATE:

SUBMITTED BY:

3/26/2014

        0630

Shed 7 West SZ

3/25/2014

Steiner

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Ascended the Shed 7 avalanche path to the Shed 7 West path.  Followed the main path to approximately 5400 feet (1636 m) elevation and then exited path to the Shed 7 West/ Shed 8 ridgeline.  Followed ridgeline to 6020 feet (1824 m) elevation and completed a full profile on a east- northeast aspect.  Conditions for skin ascent were good and due daytime warming, descent conditions were poor.  No snowpack collapsing, audible failures or shooting cracks observed.

WEATHER OBSERVATIONS:

Mostly clear to clear skies with air temperatures in the morning around 200F.  Throughout the daytime hours air temperatures climbed to near 500F at all elevations, winds were calm to light from the SW, visibility unlimited, and conditions remained dry.

 

SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS:

 

Conducted a full profile on a 35 degree East/ Northeast aspect at 6200 feet elevation located in a looker’s right path of the Shed 7 West starting zone.  Snowpack depth was 377 cm (9 feet).

 

  • A significant temperature gradient existed in a portion of the snowpack between the interfaces of 270 cm from the ground and the snowpack above this height and 220 cm from the ground and the snowpack below this height.  In this 270 cm to 220 cm portion of the snow pack the snowpack temperature was recording -1 to -20C. Interface snowpack temperatures and temperatures at all other elevations in the snowpack were recording 00C.

 

  • Snowpack was moist throughout.

 

  • A deep seated layer of concern at this profile location was a 1F mixed form layer sandwiched between two pencil hard crusts located 157 cm from the ground surface or 120 cm from the snowpack surface.

 

  • Extended Column stability tests conducted on this deep layer of greatest concern resulted in “No Results” when conducted from the surface of the snowpack or in deep tap tests.  Compression tests, however, resulted in conclusive results on this layer at CTH 22 and CTH 23 Q2.

 

  • A more surface related layer of concern in this profile location was located 37 cm from the snowpack surface and was related to a mixed form layer beneath a 4F hard crust.  Again No ECT results on this layer but Compression Tests conclusively scored CTM 18 and CTM 16 Q2.

 

 

 

AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS:

 

  • No recent avalanche activity observed.

 

 03_25_14_Shed 7 west

 

 

 

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.