Observation: Hogum

Observation Date
3/11/2019
Observer Name
Meisenheimer
Region
Salt Lake
Location Name or Route
Hogum Fork
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Beautiful day to be in the Alpine. Light winds with cat and mouse sun.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
20"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
The March sun was strong today - As we left White Pine it was cold and crisp.  However, by the time we hit Maybird the sun exposed terrain was already taking on heat and the snow surface was becoming damp.  The upper elevation north facing slopes or terrain that was shaded by the trees remained 5 star powder. 
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Rapid Warming
Red Flags Comments
I did see one natural slide that likely occurred within the past 24-48 hrs ( see picture one). Wind was drifting the slightest bit of snow off the highest ridges in the drainage. It was not a concern.
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Problem #1 Comments
After traveling in the alpine today I wouldn't rule out the isolated chance of triggering a small storm/wind slab in the steepest terrain. 
Comments
I would say it's still possible to trigger a lingering wind slab in steep alpine terrain.  There were many spots that we decided to avoid in our travels today.  Anywhere the snow was deep and windblown we decided to work around those areas.  Picture one is very representative of a slab that likely failed in graupel pooling in the lower angled terrain (Mark White's observation showed this as well).  This is tricky, because as we ski the steeper line above we are left with the (less dangerous) lower ramp where it could be possible to trigger a slide on graupel.
 
My biggest concern was areas that the wind transported the snow across the steeper faces.  It was easy to identify and avoid.  Committing, upper elevation terrain still has issues with the chance of triggering an isolated wind slab.         
I stopped and took this photo of the tree because I am blown away with what a life this tree must have.  It's survived many years of large avalanches and is still standing tall... 
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
None

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