Holiday Auction is Live - Bid Now!

Observation: Uintas

Observation Date
Observer Name
W Ambler and J Noteboom
Location Name or Route
Henry's Fork
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Throughout most of Henry's Fork the weather was chilly but calm. Off and on clouds, light winds and good walking temperatures. At Gunsight Pass, the winds were moderate to strong, still from the northwest, rapidly transporting snow. The air temperature had fallen to 1*f and the sky was obscured by clouds. Precip was still light but there was significant transport of previously grounded snow.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
New Snow Density
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Throughout the walk we experienced just about all of the snow conditions one would expect in cold weather. There were old sun crusts on solar aspects lower in the drainage. Higher in the drainage, where the big mountains come into view, the evidence of strong southern winds became prevalent, though wind's seemed to be haphazardly thrown around the basin by the shapely mountains which surround it. E-N was wind loaded, S-W was stripped and chutes seemed to be variably filled/cross loaded. Snow depth varied greatly but was on average <1 m above 10k and dwindled to about 40 cms at the summer TH. There was about an inch of new snow last night in the upper basin. All the way up from the trailhead to the pass the snowpack had been placed, or thrown, on top of weak, sugary facets.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
In our walk up we experienced a few smaller whumphs and collapses. On our way down, when Josh and I were right next to eachother, we felt a significant collapse and a booming whumph. After scanning our surroundings we noted cracks 50+ feet away from our skintrack. The weak layer collapse spread over what seemed to be about a 1000 square foot area. If you plunged your pole too hard into the snow it would poke through the denser middle snowpack and sink right through the facets as if they weren't there. The same thing would happen if you removed your ski.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Problem #1 Comments
This shallow snowpack is harboring well formed and very weak snow crystals that will likely be a problem for a long time. Thankfully you can cover many miles of lovely hiking and scenery while effectively avoiding avalanche terrain.
Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Drifted Snow
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
With wind shifting around the rose, folks who have been traveling in this area lately may be caught off guard. Watch out moose.
Cold hands did not procure many photographs. Hopefully these are helpful.
Wind abused spur off of Gilbert and Gunsight
Wind loaded and corniced East facing terrain on the hikers right.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating