Observation Date: 03/02/2019
Summit of Ward Mountain from summer trailhead.
Mostly cloudy with intermittent moments of partial sun. Periods of very light snow. Twin Lakes SNOTEL averaged 8 degrees F during the tour (1000 – 1700 hrs).
A near complete absence of wind, even on the summit ridge, made the air temperature feel more mild.
New Snow: 6-12″
None observed. Strong effects of recent wind apparent in scoured and pillowed slopes across drainages to the north and south on a variety of aspects.
Performed a 1.5 m-deep ECT test on a E/SE aspect at ~8,900′ elevation at ~ [46.16879, -114.28479].
Total snow depth 325 cm
ECTN 1 Q2 at 15 cm
ECTN 15 Q2 at 45 cm (fracture did extend nearly 3/4 column width, but did not propagate all the way across). Informal Rutschblock stomps above the pit revealed a tendency to collapse and questionable stability.
These touchy results (relative to bombproof ECT results on Bitterroot outings on the two previous weekends) would have made us very hesitant to ski steep slopes had there been any in our plan. Smoky, knee-deep powder on low to moderate slopes all the way to the car made for an easy ski out.
Observer: George Gaines