Observation: Grizzly Gulch

Observation Date
02/1/2018
Observer Name
Kelly Robbins

Region:

Location Name or Route
Grizzly Gulch/Patsy Marley
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Overcast skies and moderate temperatures with gusty SW to W winds. A trace of rimed new snow was falling by early afternoon.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

Variable surface conditions to say the least.  The downhill turning was fun and supportable in areas that were freshly drifted in by last night's winds.  S facing aspects held a breakable crust at 9k feet.  Other areas were scoured down to a hard, slick surface.  Dry weather activity?  "Sharpen" those ski and splitboard tuning skills.  :)

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Poor structure remains, and we're primed for another round of natural and human triggered avalanches with the next significant snowfall. Attached pictures are from a snowpit at 9800 feet on a NW facing slope. Total height of snow was 150 cm, which is more than I've been finding generally, probably a result of a location that receives a bit of wind loading. Due to the depth of the weakest facets, I chose a PST for this location, and got a jolt through my body with a very audible and visible collapse and propagation at 110 cm deep. PST 30/110 (End) 110 cm down.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Problem #1 Comments

See above comments and attached pictures.  First picture shows the hardness (or resistance) profile, and the second picture shows the result of the PST, with my saw left in place from where the crack propagated to the end of the column. PST 30/110 (End) 110 cm down.

 

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