Observation: Brighton Perimeter

Observation Date
02/6/2018
Observer Name
B

Region:

Location Name or Route
Snake Creek: SE, S, N, and NE; and exit back to BCC via Sunset NW, and Lower Pioneer Ridge East facing
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Early morning snow showers at S1 rates were lessoning as the day went on. Skies were overcast for much of the day with partial clearing around 1630. Temperatures were in the upper teens throughout day above 9300. Moderate winds were observed mostly on the ridgelines and out of the WNW and in the am, then they appeared to die down significantly by 1400. Transport and or wind blown was light for the most part. New snow during the day appeared to 2 to 3 inches.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
6"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Rain-Rime Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

Very little wind damage with small isolated patches of wind crust and lingering rime crust observed in the most exposed areas. The graupel from yesterday served as an excellent rebounding/spongy turning base with the 4 to 6 inches of new light density snow from last night on top. Very good riding, especially on ENE, NE, N and NW aspects. You could feel the old surface crusts on south, east and west aspects. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Despite the mostly light wind loading over the past 24 hours, sensitive cornices were observed on south and southeast upper elevation ridgelines. In areas where the snowpack is less than a meter (and specifically around rocks and cliffs) 2 to 3 mm advanced basal facets were observed. The deepest HS in non wind loaded areas was 150 cm, and even in these locations fist to 4 finger hard basal facets are still in place. The mid and upper layers of the snowpack continue to gain strength, and the warm temperatures from last week have helped in this regard.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

It has been 9 days since the last human triggered persistent slab release, and this latest storm has not provided a substantial increased load in weight to test the buried facets. Despite this, all observations continue to report poor snowpack structure, and as a result this problem remains on the table. Many steep lines continue to be ridden, yet steep rocky and thin areas in the snowpack remain suspect. Due to this lingering possibility, the Danger out there appears to be moderate for these potential issues. 

 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Loose Dry Snow
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments

Scattered/isolated natural and human triggered loose snow avalanches in the new snow only were observed. These all appeared manageable. 

See above regarding Sensitive Cornices. 

Wednesdays forecast for clear skies and temperatures reaching the upper 30's at 9000 feet should help initiate widespread wet loose activity on steep SE, S, and SW aspect. 

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