Avalanche: Snowbasin Backcountry

Observer Name
Doug Wewer
Observation Date
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Occurrence Date
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Occurence Time
Unknown

Region:

Location Name or Route
Snowbasin Access Road
Elevation
6200
Aspect
North
Slope Angle
30
Trigger
Unknown
Avalanche Type
Soft Slab
Avalanche Problem
Storm Slab
Weak Layer
New Snow/Old Snow Interface
Depth
6"
Width
50
Vertical
50
Comments

This slide appears to have been triggered by the plow, or was a natural. I was not wearing ski gear when I drove by, but I did wallow up to my waist in sneakers to the toe to measure the slope angle. It was right at 30 degrees. It is a small slide, but one that I think is very interesting. You could see egg shell cracking for at least 100' on either side of the avalanche. And two pockets released together. Both of these things indicate how sensitive things are and the ability for the fracture to propagate. The very low slope angle is also interesting and rare, at least for the Wasatch. I'm nearly certain it slid on large surface hoar. I wasn't able to wallow any further to check for sure, but there was a distinct dark colored, facet-looking layer just above the bed surface all around the flanks and crown (see close up photo).  This is a big red flag to me, especially for lower elevation terrain traps. 

Coordinates