Observation: Murdock Peak

Observation Date
12/2/2018
Observer Name
Paradis / Brackelsberg
Region
Salt Lake
Location Name or Route
Murdock Bowl
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Somewhat wet and humid feeling at low elevations but not bad at cooler upper elevations. Wind died a bit later in the day.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
10"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments
Along ridges snow had minor wind affect but skied well in more protected trees.  There was a wind layer about 30 cms down which helped to keep the snow feeling supportable.  Coverage seemed pretty decent, especially with last year as a reference.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Poor snowpack structure noted in the profile below. October facets were the main concern and were present about 55 cms down. We observed a couple large collapses in a few different places. The first was in a low angle area adjacent to the main part of the bowl. The second was right along the ridge. In this one we were actually standing on thin snow that was connected to a deeper, windblown area.
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
October snow was very reactive in snowpit tests (fairly sudden shear) and the likely culprit in a number of large collapses.  It could easily produce large avalanches. 
 
I selected "same" for the trend below because this will probably be a factor for a few weeks, depending on weather and snow.
 
Avalanche Problem #2
Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
Prefrontal winds created wind slabs that are now buried below about 30 cms of good low density snow.  These were present even in relatively protected areas.  This can make wind slabs hard to spot.
Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
8,900'
Slope Angle
25°
Video
Today's Observed Danger Rating
High
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Coordinates

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