Observation: Hogum

Observation Date
01/30/2018
Observer Name
Sean Burkhart

Region:

Location Name or Route
Hogum Fork/ Obelisk
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Bluebird day until 12:30pm when dark clouds rolled in and remained for the rest of the day. Light SW winds with moderate gusts here and there. Temps 50 degrees F at White Pine Trailhead and temps felt likely above freezing at higher elevation as well.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
With the increasing temperatures were seeing, the snow has been forming soft rime crusts even on slopes sheltered from the sun. Still decent riding in the right spots at upper elevations and found some powder pockets below the Obelisk. The Rime was not hard to ride at all on NW to NE facing terrain and still made for some fun turns. Damp snow below 8500' and melt freeze crusts on sunny aspects.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Natural sloughing and pinwheels on aspects receiving sun. Small sloughs at lower elevations not running far but the snow was very heavy and wet. Lots of the upper elevation terrain showing signs of strong winds during and closely after our most recent storm leaving hard wind slabs in certain areas. Did not observe any recent avalanches even in upper elevations. Seems like the snow is holding on well but with the persistent weak layer issue were seeing scattered across the Wasatch, it's hard to justify pushing your slope angles much. Did not have time to dig any pits but the snowpack was shallow and the weak layer near the ground was easy to feel with simple pole probing.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
The steeper slopes sheltered from the sun are absolutely begging for a rider. Could be great, could be bad news. Pretty hard to say at this point but with the sizes of the slides we've been seeing lately, this has got to be the scariest and most dangerous issue.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Loose Wet Snow
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
The snow is not running very easily but is very heavy at lower to mid elevations and on a slope steep enough, it could play a role. Keep in mind rocks below and terrain traps where a small accident could be a big deal.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates