Observation: Snowbasin Backcountry

Observation Date
3/10/2019
Region
Ogden
Location Name or Route
Snowbasin backcountry
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
Powder in north-facing trees above 7000'. Increasingly dense below 7000', heavy and wet below 6500' on NW aspect, in the afternoon.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Heavy Snowfall
Red Flags Comments
Sluffing was widespread, on slopes over 35 degrees, with cuts on sun-sheltered slopes mostly from 8000' down to 6600'. Below there travel was on slopes under 30 degrees. Observed some naturals in the new snow; sluff that had run about 500 feet in a NW chute (guessing this ran yesterday), and another that ran around 800 feet in a west chute (guessing this ran the 8th, because it has some new snow over it).
Comments
Below, this bowl had a natural surface sluff that ran on the right side a couple hundred yards; cuts on the left side would easily clean out everything touched, running a few hundred feet. While this was predictable and "manageable", its more movement than I usually see in that area (sun-sheltered NW, 8000' to 7600'). Deposition gullies clearly would not be a good place to be, and the runout of this area has a deposition area we chose to avoid,  opting for lower angle slopes (next), which offered excellent turning.  Next, a natural on the west side of Mt Allen, which appears to have run about 800 feet, with deposition probably in the 4 foot range. This was observed from the valley.  The new snow has obscured the starting zone, but the starting zone was probably between 8800' and 9000', with the deposition in a section that eases to 35 degrees,  around 8200'.  Note that the tree in the lower center of the photo, near the debris pile, is missing branches on the lower trunk.  Next, cutting/pushing on a rollover, with surface sluffing but nothing deeper.  6600', N, 11AM. Photo Alan McKean.  Next, "pushalanche" conditions down low, around 6300' on an exit, NW, 3PM.  Some rollerballing  beginning around 7000', N aspect, 3PM.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate

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