Observation: Moab

Observation Date
2/8/2019
Observer Name
Nauman, Garcia, Ament
Region
Moab
Location Name or Route
Dark side
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
Southeast
Wind Speed
Strong
Weather Comments
The wind was whipping on the ridgelines with substantial wind loading of north thru northwest aspects downwind of loose snow sources. We focused our effort on wind sheltered north faces in mid elevations today.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Lots of good soft fluff to be had if you can outsmart the wind. Anything exposed to the wind this week and the new wind we got today has been reworked into all kinds of odd densities. However, there are plenty of sheltered areas to get the fluff.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Wind loading was happening throughout the day. We noted a complicated network of wind slab related crowns in upper Talking Mountain cirque where some of the most intense wind loading was occuring today. Although we had good results in both and ECT (no failures) and CT test (CT23 with a very poor shear), there is still a couple layers of weak facets that a wind slab could step down to create a larger avalanche.
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
There is still some potential for natural avalanches resulting from current wind loading. Lots of areas with wind slabs that still need to stabilize. Looks like we are in store for still more wind in the next couple days :(
Avalanche Problem #2
Problem
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments
We still have some very weak faceted layers in our snow pack. We aren't getting results right now, and I think some deeper areas are bridging, but we still have weak layers in there. There will still be many areas that have not bridged due to lack of snow, or in areas that have had prior slides. We have seen a couple repeaters this year that continue to slide on the old facets.
Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
10,800'
Slope Angle
33°
Comments
Wind loading on Pre-Laurel Ridge.
Still sugary facets at the bottom...
ECT test with no fracture. Any legit ECT ends with a couple gorilla slaps.
Video
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable

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