Observation: Moab

Observation Date
Observer Name
Nauman, Ament
Location Name or Route
Goldminer's Cabin
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
It was full bluebird today with very little wind. This was the first really warm day after recent snow cycles and the solar aspects were downright hot with rapid warming.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Today was a day of change and transition in the snowpack. The warm temperatures and full sping sun had the snow sticky and warming quick in many areas. We managed to find some hot powder up on high on a S-SW aspect, but crust had formed on many due south aspects and other areas where the sun has gotten to the snow in the absence of wind. We also found many areas of very wet sticky snow that made travel difficult at best, spring is upon us. It will be much harder to find soft snow moving forward. In our circuit of Gold Basin we did find some soft powder in the small pockets of lower angle north faces.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
There was a lot going on today. We opted to go for a circuit that covered many aspects today ultimately looking more atSW aspects were holding up and hoping for some hot pow up high. I did encounter a couple small reactive windslabs at treeline on S-SW aspects that broke out a little and in one case sent some cracks ~6 feet out. We dug a quick pit on a 215 deg aspect at 11,500 ft and found a 140-145 cm snowpack with the old January snow surface at 56 cm below the snow surface. Interestingly we found a very hard crust at that interface with a full ice layer (K+) in some areas that we couldn't always break through with our probes, but substantial spatial variabily in the hardness of that layer near out pit. ECT and CT tests down to that layer did not reveal any results and we were pretty satisfied that the upper snowpack is pretty well bonded to the old January snow surface. Although the snow surface needs a refresh, the solar aspects seem to be relatively stable right now unless we get more hot days. We did not see any true wet slide indicators today - no roller balls or wet point releases, just some really sticky snow in hot spots.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Problem #1 Comments
Our PWL on north faces is still the biggest concern. Still felt this in pole pokes and has been reactive in recent observations.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
There are some sneaky wind slabs at treeline right now. The ones we encountered were isolated, but reactive nonetheless. With winds expected to increase tomorrow, this could be an rising issue to deal with. There is still plenty of loose snow for wind to move around up high.
Solar aspects taking a beating today
Still soft on north aspects, but gotta keep it mellow on slope gradient. (pic: Ament)
Zebra glades! From fire to fun!
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating