Observation: Pleasant Creek

Observation Date
01/29/2018
Observer Name
Kobernik-Kendall

Region:

Location Name or Route
Pleasant Creek/Seeley Canyon
Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
This was the first day that we haven't experienced a significant collapse of the snowpack underneath us over the last two weeks. The snowpack structure is still bad news as far as future snow storms are concerned.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Problem #1 Comments

Triggering an avalanche is becoming less likely at this time.  That said, we still avoided all steep slopes that harbor weak faceted snow near the ground.  Although we saw no obvious signs of instability and we were not able to get any propagation in snowpit tests, just knowing that there is buried sugar snow is enough to keep me scared.  You just can't trust the stuff.

Comments

We haven't been up Pleasant Creek for sometime now.  This is not a canyon you want to be in with any significant avalanche danger.  It is a unique canyon on the Skyline as it perhaps receives the deepest snowpack of any.  We found depths of almost 3 feet in the upper bowls.  These depths are quite a bit more compared to the Fairview Canyon/Skyline Summit area.  This is also a bit more than I've seen in Ephraim Canyon and vicinity.  The bad news is that there is still WAY too much weak snow near the ground and it will continue to be a concern during future snow loading events.  The more northerly facing slopes are also showing signs of the surface snow starting to weaken under the "near surface faceting" process.

If we ever see a decent snow storm this winter yet, I highly recommend avoiding this canyon during and directly after the storm.  The main road crosses underneath NUMEROUS avalanche paths from low in the canyon all the way to where it meets Skyline Drive.  I'll be surprised not to see avalanche activity in this canyon at some point.

Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates