Inside the Melting Snowpack

Inside the Melting Snowpack

What really happens to the strength of snow as it gets wet and how can we measure it?

We love to tout Silverton Colorado as the center of the avalanche universe. And there’s no doubt studying the continental conditions here in the San Juans are slabtastic! But as the planet warms, the winter thaws and the seasons change, understanding wet snow avalanche cycles are critical. 

The annual FOUR CORNERS SNOW & AVALANCHE WORKSHOP (4SAW) features presentations on new and emerging scientific research. In 2022, we’re excited to highlight the work being done by Mikael Schlumpf, a MSc student in the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of New Mexico. 

Mikael’s masters research is focused on identifying and monitoring the strength of snow interfaces that accumulate water. (something four corners skiers and climbers are all too familiar with!)

Schlumpf is originally from Canada, where he lived and worked in the Rocky Mountains, including 2 years as a ski patroller and assistant avalanche forecaster at Mt. Norquay ski resort. 

Mikael is interested in snow as both a water resource and a hazard, with a specific passion for understanding the movement of water in snow and its implications for hydrology and avalanche forecasting. 

We’re excited to welcome Mikael to Silverton and his presentation and findings will prove invaluable to those attending 4SAW this year. 

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