Observation: Moab

Observation Date
Observer Name
Tim Matthews
Location Name or Route
Geyser Pass Winter TH
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Wind was calm at the Geyser Pass Winter TH. Couldn't feel a breeze all all. The WX station on Pre Laurel Peak seams to be down and not giving a linked reading from the UAC forecast page.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
The sun was doing it's thing again. Only N and NE stayed cold enough to keep the surface snow dry. Granted I only observed terrain today at about 9,600'.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Rapid Warming
Red Flags Comments
I experienced two collapses today. One while snow shoeing just above the Geyser Pass Winter TH sledding hill, and the other while powder surfing in the same area. Both collapses happened on shady slopes at 9,600 feet.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Problem #1 Comments
I ski toured last friday and got most undisturbed N, NE, and E aspects to collaspe under my weight in terrain below treeline and near treeline. The collaspes on Friday felt pretty "weak" as the overlying slab, or new storm snow was very soft or fist hard on the hand hardness scale. Today while making a run in low angle shady, and sheltered terrain below treeline I experienced a much louder and "stronger" collaspe. The overlying slab, or most recent storm snow from Wednesday is gaining strength and body, and becoming more well connected. What use to be fist hard storm snow all the way to the buried near surface facets is now fist hard near the surface and 4 finger directly above the buried persistent weak layer that formed at the surface during our weeks of high pressure. This collaspe also, shot out cracks in front of my board. I am highly suspect of areas like the Corkscrew Glades. Steep enough to avalanche and sheltered enough to harbor consistent across the slope facets that are now buried with a slab on top. With this weeks warmer temps on tap our overlying slab could become even more well connected and produce larger avalanches. The temps could also, start the healing process of the buried facets and perhaps make them less reactive.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wet Snow
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
The sun certainly has been beating on the solar aspects and anywhere I walked this morning that was not in the shade had a breakable crust on it. I did not travel in south facing terrain that became rapidly damp or wet. If the south gets really damp and freezes hard overnight the danger will be slower to rise, but the skiing quality will also, be pretty bad. If the winds pick up at all that will help to keep the surface snow on solar aspects cooler for longer.
My main objective today was to take the new pup Obi up to the mountains and run through some rescue drills at the BCA Transceiver Park and take a few pow surfer laps all near the Geyser Pass Winter TH. Great day and the pup is pow worthy. He chased me down the slope everywhere I went.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating