Monday, November 29, 2010

metamorphism of snow

Last weekend we took advantage of a few days off and some new snow up high. One interest of mine has been watching the snow pack change over the course of the winter. This was more than an academic exercise during my search and rescue days since the character of the snow pack was a big indication of avalanche potential.

Right now the snotel site indicates we are a little shallow in snow depth for this time of year. The crystals (yes I know I didn't even think of taking a picture) are all small and are fairly evenly sized through the snow piles. The only different sized crystals were found at the surface where a thin layer of surface hoar is forming.

What we will look for now is to see if the cold night time temperatures will continue creating new crystals that will influence how cohesive the snow will act. The fun part...I will have to keep skiing and snowshoeing through out the winter. I hope to have periodic updates as time goes on, so stay tuned.

Making first tracks through a meadow.
Climbing towards a mine dump-avalanche chute. It is just the right angle for a slide
Winter has come back to the Colorado Rockies

1 comment:

Silver Fox said...

Nice pictures! And great idea to watch the change in snow/ice crystals through the winter.