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Observation: Uintas

Observation Date
1/8/2019
Observer Name
Ted Scroggin
Region
Uintas
Location Name or Route
Whitney Basin-Double Hill
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Sunny and mild with just a few high clouds and very light to calm winds on the ridge lines.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
18"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
Seems like 18-20" of new snow over the last few days and it was full on powder riding today.  The snow was a little inverted with denser snow on the surface with some graupel and lighter density snow underneath.  Myself and partner had our share of digging sleds out today, but it is nice to see a good storm for the Uintas.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Loading
Cracking
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Some of the red flags have moderated today with mild temperatures and clam winds. Minor cracking within the new snow and we did not get onto steep slopes. Some of the natural activity on Double Hill did break into weak snow at the ground where the snow pack has remained thin.
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
The winds seemed to get into a lot of the low and mid elevation terrain creating inverted riding conditions.  We did not get any wind drifts to crack, but we also kept the slope angles low.  These should settle out quickly other than in some isolated steeper terrain. 
Avalanche Problem #2
Problem
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments
In places where the snow pack has remained thin, this recent storm should really test the strength of those layers. We did observe natural activity that did break into weak snow near the ground. 
Comments
There was a nice natural avalanche cycle on Double Hill where some of the slides did break into sugary snow near the ground as seen by the brushy vegetation poking through.
We dug down just as far as the new/old snow interface to see how the storm snow has bonded.  Our column of snow cracked, but did not propagate across the column.  2.  Mark shows how its done riding the deep powder.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Coordinates

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