Observation: White Pine Knob, East Ridge

Observation Date
02/5/2018
Observer Name
Toby Weed

Region:

Location Name or Route
Tony Grove, White Pine Knob
Weather
Sky
Obscured
Precipitation
Moderate Snowfall
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Strong
Weather Comments
Snow showers (graupel), windy, temps appeared to be cooling a bit
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
2"
New Snow Density
High
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Rain-Rime Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

A couple inches of graupel on another rime/rain crust from 2/4.  Very fast and smooth skiing, loud at times due to surface crusts.  Riding was a bit catchy with crust in places.  You don't sink in very far on skis or sled and only about 30 cm with boots at upper elevations.

Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

Wind slab avalanches and cornice falls may be possible on drifted upper elevation slopes due to incessant westerly winds, but we found no such problems in the Bunch Grass Area.  Rain on 2/4 created a second crust, with only an inch or two of graupel and rimed snow on the surface.  Although drifting was visibly occurring, we found no fresh drifts...  We did not venture near any of the large cornices, which have grown significantly in the past week or so. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments

We found a Low danger at upper elevations where the snow is deeper than about 4'.  Perhaps a Moderate danger, with persistent slabs possible at mid elevations where the shallow and weak snow was moistened by rain on 2/4...  Cooling will help to solidify the moist snow and I expect increasing stability in the next couple days.

Snow Profile
Aspect
East
Elevation
8600
Slope Angle
30
Comments

Found good stability in fairly deep snow at 8600' on an east facing slope on White Pine Knob.  Not so at 7500' off the Tony Grove Rd where the snow was moistened by rain on 2/4.  Dropping temperatures and a decent refreeze will help to solidify the snow at mid elevations, and the danger of persistent slabs should diminish.

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