Lower Headwall

March 3, 2021 at 12:00 PM
Name: Ryan Lewthwaite| MWAC
Location: Lower Headwall

Mostly cloudy skies above 3000 feet kept visibility low for looking into the alpine starting zones. The temperature was around 19F degrees. Swirling moderate winds were blowing any loose dry snow into gullies and the protection of trees. Wind drifted snow was being redeposited around the landscape and settling onto the surface snowpack as 4Finger to 1Finger cohesive slabs. The extreme winds from the previous two days has stripped sticks, leaves and pine litter from trees, and snow from the upper snowfields. A gust of over 130mph was recorded on the summit Monday with a period of rain to nearly 4000 feet. The rain has coated trees and the surface 2cm of the snowpack with a thin veneer of ice which is not supportable in most locations. Areas exposed to harsh winds have been scoured down to the firmest of old crusts and wind hardened snow surfaces. No new avalanches were observed. The Lower Headwall is completely covered and open water is no longer an issue. If venturing into steep terrain crampons and axes are a must.