December comes in like a lynx

Sunrise at treeline.   Cameron Pass, December 2016

Sunrise at treeline. 

Cameron Pass, December 2016

The quiet little house cat of November weather has grown up into a moderately sized, elusive, mountain animal. That is to say, things are definitely looking up, but we have a lot of room for improvement to be able to feel confident about the snowpack and be able to cover the bramble all the way to the parking lot. 

Sun coming up on South Diamond  Cameron Pass, December 2016

Sun coming up on South Diamond

Cameron Pass, December 2016

You can still see the avalanche debris piles just above the Diamond Bench, these were mainly from the second of two avalanche cycles on the South Diamond this season already. Those early season facets might not be done yet, just because a slope has released once (or twice) so far. 

Basal facets on a 3mm grid.   Cameron Pass Snow conditions, December 2016

Basal facets on a 3mm grid. 

Cameron Pass Snow conditions, December 2016

There's a lot more to assessing avalanche danger than just looking at snow crystals up close, but I still never get tired of doing it. These beautiful, yet terrifying snow grains will be with us for a while this season. Play safe in the mountains this winter!