Observation: Moab

Observation Date
Observer Name
Chris Benson
Location Name or Route
Gold Basin
Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
We observed both basal facets and the 2/21 interface on a variety of aspects over the last couple of days. One pit on a north aspect at treeline revealed the 2/21 interface to be about 1.5' down and contained mostly 1F hard facets. We got an ECTX. Hs at this site was around 150 cm and we could feel basal facets while probing.
On a Southwest aspect, Hs was around 50 cm. A 2-3" thick melt-freeze crust has developed after the March 6th storm cycle. There are large-grained facets underneath the crust, but the crust was bridging and is strong. Last week's 7" has really consolidated and we should be getting into a corn cycle for the foreseeable future.
West and Norhwest aspects were obvioulsy plauge by pwls, with less of a MF crust. But no cracking, collapsing, or recent avalanche activity. We choose terrain that had avalanched in the 3/6 cycle to help reduce uncertainty with this weak layer.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
The winds finally stopped blowing yesterday around 3pm. Over the last 3 days, they have been transporting most of the snow into the La Sals into Lisbon Valley. :)
There has not been a ton of snow available to transport, so most of what we have seen are major erosional features. North aspects have been pretty much blasted and scoured away. Same with NW and some NE. We did not really see much evidence in terms of wind-loading on southerly aspects in Gold Basin. Some very isolated cracking underfoot, but overall, despite the strong winds, limited snow and high wind speed almost seemed to just strip snow surfaces more than deposit drifts.
Things got hot and sticky in the afternoon and a major, spring-like change is on the way. Some roller balls late in the day on south aspects.
I would imagine the corn skiing is going to go into full swing in the next week or so. (at least on W-S-E).
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating