UDOT PLANNED AVALANCHE CLOSURES!!

Observation: Moab

Observation Date
1/9/2019
Observer Name
Nauman, Howell, Quinn
Region
Moab
Location Name or Route
Northwoods skiers left
Weather
Sky
Scattered
Wind Direction
North
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Heavy south-southwest winds on exposed ridge lines. Area evaluated was calm in sheltered area.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
New southerly winds have started reshaping the collection of wind slabs in wind exposed landforms. South faces are crusty, more sheltered areas still have soft fun snow, but already starting to get noticeably more dense than yesterday.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Still collapsing all all aspect. Extensive collapsing and cracking on more northerly aspects - scary stuff with cracks running between tree wells in the woods
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
The wind has started again overnight and an already unstable snowpack is being reloaded and reworked in more exposed areas closer to ridge lines or on aspects facing into the wind. 
Avalanche Problem #2
Problem
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments
There are multiple pockets of facets on most aspects. These layers are becoming reactive with new wind loading and relatively dense new snow.
Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
10,400'
Slope Angle
29°
Comments
Similar to a pit on a northwest face, it is incredible just how much faceted material we found in our pit today. The ECT test was pretty reactive and slid out about and inch for the ECTP10. From that result, it only took a little touch from the shovel for the slab to slide off the fracture with a nice smooth shear - that stuff is just waiting to slide. I wouldn't touch anything steeper than 30 degrees on a north aspect, and even subtle rollovers and stuff in the high 20s might be suspect. 
Fresh wind scour on the ridge above north woods.
This is one of the weirdest snowpacks I've ever seen. I really expected more big avalanches with the last storm cycle, but they did not come. So now there is a lot of  with poor structure waiting to be triggered by something. The snowpack is screaming that it wants to slide, especially on north faces. Be super cautious out there.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Coordinates

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