Northern Wallowas/Wing Ridge Area

Observer(s) Location: Report #:
Jordan Manley 2238
Mode of Travel: Complete Report Date/Time: Orig Report Date/Time:
02/10/2017 7:39 PM 02/10/2017 6:26 PM
Type of Report:
Snow Conditions                        

Red Flags:
Recent avalanche activity

Narrative
Today we spotted numerous very large avalanches on our tour from Little Sheep Creek, through Cabin Creek, and to Salt Creek Summit. Two of the avalanches that we observed were exceptionally large. The first was in Little Sheep, the avalanche included almost the entire north face of the drainage, and ran the full length of the historic path. The second was in First Bowl, the entire bowl releasing from wall to wall, with a crown width of over 1,000 meters. In places, the crowns of these avalanches are over 10 feet in height. Many of these avalanche were associated with large cornice failures.


Although we observed many large avalanches that released yesterday 2/9 during a period of heavy Rainfall and warm temperatures, we found overall stable conditions in the areas that we traveled. Below freezing temperatures refroze the snow last night, and we did not find the snowpack to be reactive in our traveling test, with the exception of one very small slab of windloaded grauple that I intentionally triggered on the skintrack. The intentional triggering of a large chunk of cornice did not initiate a failure at 7,500 feet. Rain runnels were observed up to 7,500 feet in places, and above the rain line we found snow surfaces ranging from dust on crust to about 10 cm of nice soft powder in some places. We found very good skiing above 8,000 feet. Hand pits reveled a very well bonded upper snowpack, strengthened by the melt freeze process.



Snow & Weather
Pictures

Caption: Little Sheep Creek Avalanches

Caption: Little Sheep

Caption: Little Sheep

Caption: Little Sheep D5-R5

Caption: First Bowl D5-R5

Caption: First Bowl

Caption: Shelter Ridge

Caption: Pyramid
Audio/Video