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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Snow pack update, Feb 21, 2014

South Fork Stillaguamish River

Well, winter finally showed up last week--much to the relief of glacier gurus, salmon, farms and fishermen. While snow totals for the week-long string of storms is impressive at about 1.2 meters (all elevations above about 1,800 feet, the above photo is the tables at the Big Four picnic area), this is the ONLY 1.2 meters that's fallen, even at upper elevations. What little snowpack there was prior to the past week (typically above 5k ft), it is thin and now a sheet of ice. Combined with new snow on hard ground at moderate and low elevations, the recipe is there for severe (climax) avalanches is present.
I'd guess we're about 65% of "normal" now, and need the last week of Feb to be like, well, last week.
And of course have March roar like a lion!
Also keep in mind the water equivalent is low--even though this is Cascade concrete (and had lenses for the variations of precip and temp over the week), it is essentially a single snowfall, and thus relatively fluffy.
Made for some great skiing though--the first trip of 2014! Can't wait to get up on N Fork Cascade River, but always love the Stilly.

As you can see, I was the first person there, and had a fun time cutting track and sightseeing.

Stillaguamish Peak reflected in the Big Four wetlands, headwaters S. Fork Stillaguamish River.
I prefer the path less travelled.
Big Four playing coy in the clouds.

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