Observation: Moab

Observation Date
Observer Name
Nauman, Garcia, Howell, Darling
Location Name or Route
Talking Mtn
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
It was a mostly bluebird day in the La Sals. Up high there were some light winds that kept the snow surface from heating up much. The north faces are still staying very cold in the shade and the sun was pretty hot on solar aspects.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
New Snow Density
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
The snow surface was incredibly variable today with mostly wind impacts of varying degree depending on aspect and exposure. We encountered every iteration of wind slab, crust, and soft depositional pockets. We managed to find more consistently soft snow on west aspects near wind barriers where snow seemed to have accumulated from yesterdays dusting of new snow. It's hard to find predictable snow in open areas near treeline and in the alpine. We hear rumors of nice soft snow in the sheltered areas of the North Woods.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Red Flags Comments
There were a couple areas where wind slabs formed yesterday from the new snow and late day winds. None of these were big enough to be really worrisome. Other than that, no red flags. In the places where you could poke down to the bottom of the snowpack with a pole (rare up high where we were), you could still feel our basal facets, but the slabs above the facets felt really strong today. We did encounter several areas with a 1-3" surface wind crust with faacets developing underneath - potentially future weak layers. Unfortunately there are large areas of hard wind buffed surface that will be likely weak interfaces for future snow to slide on if we ever get a real storm again.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
The facets are still down there dormant like an old volcano, but if we get a big loading event they could be reawakened. This is particularly true for the large number of north faces that slide in our new year cycle.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
There are a lot of crazy looking wind formations in the alpine. It's possible you could knock a small slab loose right now, but it probably wouldn't be big enough to be a huge deal. Still something to be aware of.
Lots of wind features in the alpine
Still some soft pockets if you hunt far and wide.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating