Observation Date: 11/18/2019

Thanks to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes for sharing their wilderness treasures with the Wasi’chu world.

Climbed and skied ESM S ridge to/from 8750′.

Hiked to Mission Falls to check on ice conditions.

Cloud ceiling at ~8000′ in the Missions today. No precip. Temps above freezing to ~8000′.

Rain to at least 8000′ in the Mission’s yesterday. Very moist snow above. Between the rain and wind, there’s a lot of iciness (snowpack scoured to old crusts in some places, new crust from yesterday in others).

A bit of moist snow above ~8500′ on lee aspects (east). Hard to judge with poor vis and slide-for-life surface conditions in most areas along the ridge.

Generally light winds (some moderate gusts above 8000′). No snow transport (too dense, refrozen, or already blown away).

New Snow: 0-3″

Avalanche Activity:
Only very small (D1) wet loose observed at mid elevations. No vis in the upper elevations to assess.

Other Comments:
Snow line at ~7000′. Wet snowpack to ~7500′. Moist snowpack (all the way to ground) to 8000′. With colder temps and a re-freeze, this will stabilize the existing snowpack. Avalanche concerns with the precipitation coming Tuesday will be focused on the very slick surface crust that covers most terrain all the way into the upper elevations. Cold temps from a midweek high pressure forecast following Tuesday’s storm are likely to exacerbate faceting at the crust interface with Tuesday’s new snow.

The only current ice in the Mission Falls area is alpine ice above ~6000′.

Observer: Mat Brunton