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Observation: Knob Mountain

Observation Date
12/1/2019
Observer Name
John Pikus & Zeb Engberg
Region
Skyline » Cedar Creek » Knob Mountain
Location Name or Route
Knob Mountain
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Speed
Calm
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
12"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
New snow from the past few days has settled to about a foot in the areas we traveled today, with the denser snow below compacting to form a nice base. By mid-afternoon south and west aspects were starting to become damp due to the warm temperatures and lack of wind.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
We had several major collapses on our ascent route, including a large one where my partner and I both dropped about an inch. We viewed several avalanches that presumably happened naturally during the storm and triggered one remotely by skinning along a ridge. See separate avalanche entries for more info.
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
All avalanches we observed failed on the thin layer of weak faceted snow from the October snow storms. Now that we have a 3 foot slab of snow on top of it this persistent weak layer is very sensitive.
Avalanche Problem #2
Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
Drifts from strong winds during and after the storm are still present but much less sensitive than the past few days.
Snow Profile
Aspect
Northwest
Elevation
9,600'
Slope Angle
25°
Comments
Toured on Knob Mountain today, at elevations ranging from 7,000 to 10,150 feet. Snowpack is unstable and very sensitive on north aspects. Our snowpit revealed the problematic layer that has caused the many avalanches we saw today, which is the bottom layer of weak faceted snow from the October storms. It was between 10 and 15 cm deep in the areas we traveled today. While skinning along a ridgeline we remotely triggered an avalanche with a 3 foot high crown at least 100 feet away from us.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
High
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
High
Coordinates

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