Observation: Upper Collins area

Observation Date
10/30/2013
Observer Name
Hardesty and Kobernik

Region:

Location Name or Route
Upper Collins Gulch
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Weather Comments
Intermittent snowfall throughout the day with an additional 2-4" reported and confirmed.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
4"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments

Rimed snowfall with enough "body" to help stay on top of some of the underlying obstacles.  Riding conditions quite good on the low angle terrain with grass beneath.  

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Heavy Snowfall
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
The cracking and collapsing NOT evident today (though noted yesterday) but with a poor underlying structure keep them as part of the big picture.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

Flurries noted on the Equinox.  Since then, I've roughly tallied a loose 50" or so for the season.  Of course much had melted away on the southerly, easterly and westerly aspects.....But here were the storms - 

Sept 25-27 -       15-18"

Oct 3-4 -      10-12"

Oct 10 -       4"

Oct 13 -      8-10"    Current weakness of well faceted snow in the northerly (NE>N>NW) aspects above, say, 9500'.  (Similar structure exists down to perhaps 9000' but found to be non-reactive.......

Oct 28-Oct 30 -      10-14" - Current "Slab" that has been triggered remotely in at least three slides in upper Little Cottonwood.

Comments

Multiple tests on representative slopes elicited full propagation on extended column tests upon isolation or with only a few taps. While we were not able to trigger any avalanches or collapses today, it should be noted that we also did not venture in to much steep terrain that did not have a few tracks nearby.  Test slopes were enough.  

Would anticipate sensitivity to markedly decrease until we get the next wind or snow event.  Stay tuned.

 

CAUTION!  Keep in mind that the mountain resorts are still closed, no avalanche mitigation has been conducted and MUST be treated as the backcountry.  Secondly, consequences may be more severe with a catch and carry as avalanches will drag you through thinly veiled stumps, rocks, and downed trees.  

Video
Snow Profile Coordinates