The long-term average for snow surveys were dated for the first of the month when I started measuring snow 45 years ago. The old guys did it the hard way – up Burma Road early, skis or snowshoes to the Weasel Cabin, build a fire, sample the snow course, then overnight. The next day they would head down the creek, then climb Stahl, build a fire, sample the snow course, then hike out the next morning, sample the course at Grave Creek, hike the rest of the way out and finish the job driving the pickup out. As a modern, I drove a snowmobile and did 3 snow courses in a day. Now I click a link on the home computer, and can look at the whole basin’s information in minutes.
The numbers from March 1 were kind of sacred – there had been enough winter that Jay Penney felt safe projecting the data – enough was in that he would comment that the snowpack was light, normal or heavy.
These are some of the snow courses I measured in those middle days, when we thought a snowmobile was absolutely modern, and were experimenting with measuring snow water at Noisy Basin with a radioactive source and receiver. We were state of the art back then.
|Elevation||Water Equivalent||Percent of Average|
|Banfield Mountain||5600 feet||13.1 inches||88%|
|Hawkins Lake||6450 feet||18.9 inches||94%|
|Garver Creek||4250 feet||8.4 inches||101%|
|Stahl Peak||6030 feet||24.4 inches||86%|
|Grave Creek||4300 feet||13.1 inches||87%|
|Poorman Creek||5100 feet||29.4 inches||95%|
|Bear Mountain||5400 feet||45.6 inches||87%|
|Hand Creek||5035 feet||9.2 inches||102%|
|Noisy Basin||6040 feet||31.5 inches||106%|