Thursday, December 1, 2016

Baker Ski Area, Queest-Alb Glacier and Trumpian Snow Claims

Regarding the report the claim by the Mount Baker Ski Area that they had 83 inches of snow depth, Cliff Mass asked, "Are these Trumparian claims?". The trumparian term is readily understand and perhaps a new word is entering our language for describing outrageous claims.

It turns out that Baker does indeed get a lot of snow. Its a mix of being at the right elevation and protruding out a bit from the main front of mountains. Cliff Mass presents a rationale as to why the Mount Baker Ski area gets so much snow: that added to my ideas about the heavy snow fall.

There are hints that a few other locations get huge amounts of snow that have similar aspects. One is the Queest-Alb Glacier below the west ridge of Thee Fingers. The ridge is at about 6,000 feet so it receives plenty winter snow. By comparison the Upper Mount Baker Skit Area is at 5,000 feet.

Aerial view of Queest-Alb Glacier

The Quesst-Alb Glacier is highly dependent on winter snow to overcome its relatively low elevation and western aspect. The west part of the range Cascades are warmer in the winter but cooler in the summer compared to the east, more interior parts of the range. The Queest-Alb Glacier has retreated back from its 1989 position shown on the map above.

Queest-Alb Glacier with 1989 extent outlined in blue

1 comment:

Michael Riley said...

Cliff Mass also pointed out maybe a year ago that the Sultan basin area received higher precipitation because the ridge containing Pilchuck and Baldy jutted farther west than the Cascades to the south. Although north of that, I presumed that was why the Qeest-Alb was larger than what I would have expected.