UDOT PLANNED AVALANCHE CLOSURES!!

Observation: Aspen Grove

Observation Date
12/10/2023
Observer Name
M Talty
Region
Provo » Provo Canyon » North Fork Provo R. » Aspen Grove
Location Name or Route
Bobs Knob
Weather
Sky
Scattered
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Warm temps and calm winds below upper elevation ridgelines. Lenticulars covered the summit of South Timp.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments
An unsupportable crust lied beneath Friday's snow at lower elevations. On shady slopes, and slopes above 7750', the crust disappeared.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
No signs of recent avalanche activity
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
Slopes above 8000' that are still holding snow have facets throughout the lower half of the snowpack. At 8400' on a NNE facing slope, these facets were dry to moist, and reactive in stability tests.
Avalanche Problem #2
Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
No evidence of wind slabs at mid elevation slopes, as expected from today's forecast.
Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
8,400'
Slope Angle
15°
Comments
Walked out of Aspen Grove to see how the mid-elevation snowpack was fairing after a week of exposure with no real new snow. Slopes below 8000' have been worked by the sun and lack of snow, sunny slopes have been melted off to only a skiff of snow at these elevations.
Snow above 8000' is sticking around and will be here until the spring, with the exception of true Southerlies. I stopped to dig a pit at 8400' on a NNE facing slope and found the height of snow to be ~60cm. On this cold and shady slope, everything beneath the December 8 snow appears to be in the faceting process. Snow from the Dec. 1-2 storm that Dave observed last week has had a week of exposure and seems to be moving in the wrong direction. Developed facets from the early season storms produced propagation with moderate force (ECTP13 @ 6cm above the ground).
I did not see any signs of recent avalanche activity, however, structure is poor on slopes that are holding snow at mid elevations. With another extended period of high pressure in the forecast, I'm willing to bet this faceting process in the mid-upper snowpack won't change, and all of that is sitting atop already developed facets. I'll try to simplify my thoughts from the exit...
Poor structure afoot
Tipping point looming ahead
Where will you be then?
Video
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Coordinates