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Author Topic: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep  (Read 6299 times)
Charlie Hagedorn
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November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« on: 11/15/15, 08:14 PM »

Goals for today were twofold: 1) get out and play in the snow, preferably close and lonely, 2) Minimize the skiing risks of rocks/early-season hazards. After I concluded I couldn't get both, decisions got easier. Eschewing skis, I headed up Snoqualmie, with the plan of breezing up through the shwack to the snow above.

On the drive up, the snowline was ~milepost 49. As soon as the bowl of Kendall appeared, it was clear that the snowpack had diminished in height more than hoped. Alpy sure looked dry, too. But, it was snowing, and mountains are good, so upward it was.

This was the most snow-free I've traveled the Phantom uptrack. We ski a lot of stuff in winter that's completely transformed without snow. Routefinding, already a challenge, is harder with brush. Slippery snow over dirt required care.

Headed up to the big treeline clearing, which is just snowfilled enough to be skiable, then diverted left to the Slot-exit because the upper mountain was super rocky. The north-side basin looks pretty grim.

Good to be outside, and glad to see that everyone up at Baker got some real skiing done!




Weather: Cloudy, with one hint of a sunbreak. Light winds, except at the W ridgeline of Snoqualmie, where winds were 20+ mph from the north side of the peak.

Precip: Light to moderate snow/graupel showers in early afternoon, ending late afternoon with improving visibility

Snowpack:
New snow: 3-8 cm fist-hard fine graupel at all elevations, deepest up top. Lightly scoured by west winds at and above treeline.
Old snow: 1F-pencil, wet. First encountered at 4600', increasing to boot-depth+ by the Slot-exit (5300').

Avalanche: Terrain anchoring (and lack of skiable snow) is the main story, though some areas of talus above 5k are now filled-smooth. New/old bond is moderate; new snow was too unconsolidated to form a slab. Even at the ridgeline, windslab was minimal.


* snoqualmiePass11-15-2015-TAYSize.jpg (190.07 KB, 1000x522 - viewed 2800 times.)

* lookingDownTheSlotExit-TAYSize.jpg (195.03 KB, 1000x522 - viewed 2830 times.)

* CordiilleraAlpental11-15-2015-TAYSize.jpg (184.08 KB, 1000x405 - viewed 2797 times.)
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #1 on: 11/15/15, 11:21 PM »

I'm experimenting with adding air temperature measurements as a function of time and elevation to some of my TRs. Is this format comprehensible/useful?


* snoqualmieMountainTemperatureSounding.jpg (175.7 KB, 946x662 - viewed 2620 times.)
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bwalt822
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #2 on: 11/16/15, 08:35 AM »

I like the plot, its easy to read once you figure out to go counter clockwise.
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Jake the Brit
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #3 on: 11/16/15, 10:07 AM »

I like the plot, its easy to read once you figure out to go counter clockwise.

Yes, that's it! I think the plot is excellent, most informative counterclockwise colour coding, bingo. 
Nice landscape pic of the pass too.
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kamtron
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #4 on: 11/16/15, 10:48 AM »

CCW makes sense for cooling during a climb & descent or warming during a descent then climb. CW for warming during the climb & descent, or warming during an ascent then descent.
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danpeck
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #5 on: 11/16/15, 08:11 PM »

Cooooooooooooool  Photos!

You captured the essence of autumn transitioning into winter.  Sounds like a great solo meditation.

I like the beta infographics too!
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ski_photomatt
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #6 on: 11/16/15, 08:25 PM »

Thanks for the photos and TR!  Cool plot, but it did take me a few seconds to figure out how to interpret it.  A few suggestions to make it more intuitive:

  • rotate the colorbar horizontally.  I think of time running horizontally instead of vertically.
  • re-label the times as hours.  E.g. "1 pm" instead 13, etc.
  • you could automatically add some arrow/text annotations, e.g. "car" at the beginning/end, "top" at the high point, etc.
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brent grisim
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #7 on: 11/16/15, 09:22 PM »

I like the idea of combining time, altitude and temperature.  I suppose in some way they are necessarily confounded.  To me, it would be easier to read intuitively if time was on the x-axis and temperature and altitude were plotted as independent traces on the y axis.
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bigeo
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #8 on: 11/16/15, 11:16 PM »

looks like a psychedelic dinosaur with a gopro. Cool!
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #9 on: 11/17/15, 01:54 AM »

Thanks for all your thoughts!

Photomatt: The horizontal colorbar is a great idea; I think left-to-right, too. Automated arrows sound like an interesting challenge.

Brent: The cool thing about plotting with height is that you can see the 'lapse rate' , the decrease of temperature with height. Imagine what the plot might look like if I'd climbed out of an inversion.... I'll see if there's a clean way to roll both approaches into one plot.

Great eye, bigeo.
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khyak
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #10 on: 11/17/15, 08:15 AM »

Personally, as a dumb American, prefer Fahrenheit .   I don't really like military time, but if you are going to use it, would be better written with 4 digits, ie. 1430   or 1200.
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runningclouds
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #11 on: 11/17/15, 10:08 AM »

Charlie, the chart is fun. Where does the data come from? A personal weather monitor? It looks cool, and I like the Celsius. Would be even better if you go fully metric Wink
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #12 on: 11/17/15, 10:52 AM »

The data come from a Garmin Fenix  and an associated wireless temperature sensor on the back of my pack. It's affected by sun (so is snow!), but on cloudy days like Sunday, it's a consistent measure of air temperature.

Units-wise, I've become convinced that celsius is the right unit system for anything involving water. Having zero at the most important phase transition is a good idea (and the SI is more useful, if you're used to it). There's no reason we can't have both; I love me some Fahrenheit, too. I'll try to incorporate both unit systems for temperature and elevation in the future.
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Micah
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #13 on: 11/17/15, 11:01 AM »

That looks really cool, Charlie. Here are my suggestions:

1) use a different color palette;
2) put F scale on the top (set x2tics ...) (could put m on the right, too);
3) animated .gif that adds the points one-by-one.

:-)
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ErikT
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #14 on: 11/17/15, 02:40 PM »

nerdery; dig it. where did you make the chart? matlab?
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Liechty
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #15 on: 11/18/15, 10:43 AM »

Great pictures and that chart is sweet!
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #16 on: 11/18/15, 10:49 AM »

nerdery; dig it. where did you make the chart? matlab?

Gnuplot ( http://gnuplot.info )

@Leichty - thanks!
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butteredstuffs
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Re: November 15, 2015, Snoqualmie Pass sitrep
« Reply #17 on: 11/20/15, 10:26 AM »

Another vote to rotate the chart 90deg clockwise.  Life makes a lot more sense to most people with time moving left to right on the y-axis
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