Observation: Alexander Basin

Observation Date
2/9/2019
Observer Name
P Diegel, C Gregerson, E Mitzel
Region
Salt Lake
Location Name or Route
Alexander Basin
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Forecast verified - cloudy and windy in the am, light wind and snow in the afternoon
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
6"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments
Lots of settling since Thursday- skiing boot top+ fresh snow
Red Flags
Red Flags
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Loading
Red Flags Comments
No evidence of recent activity, cracking, or collapsing
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
2 hasty pits with similar results ~100 ft below ridgeline on lower angle lee terrain showed easy column failure ~ 6 in deep at new (wind xport) snow, but that deposited snow was not cohesive.  Got another failure with Q2 shear at an interface about 24 in deep with some prying, The rest of the column stayed in place until it just fell apart from the tugging. Plunging a pole deep showed much weaker snow about 4 feet deep, but the column was not cohesive enough to fail on that weaker snow. We avoided the steeper blown in snow directly below the entrance to Toots to Boot, but snuck in lower and skied steeper (35 deg+) slopes lower on the slope with no evidence of instability. In general, the stability seemed better than we expected, but still stayed clear of obvious steep wind-loaded starting zones
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable

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