Observation: Snowbasin Backcountry

Observation Date
Observer Name
Derek DeBruin
Ogden » Snowbasin Backcountry
Location Name or Route
Snowbasin periphery
Weather Comments
18F at 6300ft around 0700. Skies were partly cloudy to mostly sunny. Wind was dominantly southerly, veering a bit SW and SE, but also pretty swirly with occasional moments from the W and E. Below about 6800ft wind was under 15mph. Above this winds increased steadily, with sustained 30-40mph winds and a bit stronger gusts.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Characteristics Comments
About 1" of fresh from yesterday's snowfall. Southerly aspects featured a breakable +/-5cm melt freeze crust below the new snow. The most sheltered terrain was still enjoyably soft but heavy, requiring some effort to find low density powder.
Pretty much everything else had surface wind effects of some kind, 1-10cm deep, from barely noticable wind skin to 4F soft slab that was reactive on test slopes. Ridges had cornices developing, additional slab formation, and firmer snow, mostly 1F with P in a couple places.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Red Flags Comments
Above 7000ft or so, things firmed up a bit, leading to the occasional crack (not more than 1-1.5m in front of the skis) and reactive test slopes, all largely soft slabs. However, I did trigger a small avalanche (NNE 7400ft D1 wind slab 10cm down at interface) that propagated much farther than I anticipated, cracking about 75ft along the ridgeline (submitted a separate avalanche report for this). Cornices and wind slabs were both forming from obvious snow transport.
An example of a cornice stomp that broke out a small pocket.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating