Observation: Cutler Ridge

Observation Date
Observer Name
Derek DeBruin
Location Name or Route
Ben Lomond, Cutler Ridge
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Warm day with evidence of a warm night as well. 35F when we left the car at 0830, better than 40F upon our return around 1300. Temps hovering at or above freezing even above 8,000ft. Winds were relatively calm, particularly from Cutler.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

Definitely a mixed bag of surface conditions, though crust was the theme. It was possibly to find some dense powder in sheltered northerly terrain in the trees, though these pockets were spare. Above about 7400ft, most aspects had a thin melt crust on the surface that did not soften significantly by early afternoon. Places that didn't have a melt crust were wind buffed, wind crusted or scoured/sastrugi. It doesn't seem to have frozen below 7400ft, so the best riding was at the lower elevations on the dense, damp snow. Foot and ski pen was from 0 to 15cm, generally around 10cm. However, this was all below the crust after punching through. Some wind choke points in the terrain were scoured down to the old rain crust from the first week of January. Given the clearly strong winds yesterday, I suspect there won't be too much more wind transport until we get some new snow.

<p>A shot of Rodeo Ridge from the Cutler parking lot. Coverage is improving but not good enough to entice me to take a closer look yet this season.</p>

I'll add a few safety notes for my fellow snow sliders heading up Cutler Ridge. The entry/exit track sees a fair amount of traffic, especially on weekends, and is two-way. I'd offer three points that might help us all avoid accidental collisions: 1) If taking a break, step off the main skin track. 2) Avoid using head phones while in this section of skin track to maintain situational awareness of skiers/boarders exiting rapidly towards you. 3) Dogs that don't heel immediately when called should be leashed or left at home. Attention to these could aid considerably in preventing an accident on an icy, narrow track. 

Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating

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