Observation: Moffit Peak

Observation Date
Observer Name
Staples, Deutschlander, Winzeler
Uintas » Moffit Peak
Location Name or Route
Moffit Peak
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Density
Snow Surface Conditions
Snow Characteristics Comments
Recyled powder or loud powder - The snow surface is just incredibly loose, weak, and faceted. About 4-5 inches of facets (F- hardness). While this will be a future problem, it makes for really good riding now.
Red Flags
Red Flags Comments
The red flag for future avalanche conditions is the weak snow surface.
Snow Profile
Slope Angle
There are a lot of processes faceting the snow surface - radiation recrystallization, diurnal recrystallization, surface hoar formation (water vapor deposition).
On upper elevation SE facing slopes, there is an ice crust with a thin skiff of facets on top. On any slope with a north tilt (like ENE) the surface is completely faceted. South aspects have a pretty good ice crust and very poor coverage.
Photo below of the small facets formed by radiation recrystallation which forms a thin crust under a very thin layer of dry facets on top of it (and below it).
The challenge is mapping weak layers like this one. Mapping early season snow that becomes depth hoar is easy (where old snow exists is where the weak layer will be, bare ground is where it won't be). Mapping the weak snow surface visually is hard because all slopes look white.
Further complicating this mapping process of this weak layer is that areas with thinner snow are weak and faceted throughout.
It seems that all NW, N, NE, and E facing slopes have weak surface snow. SE facing slopes at upper elevations have a crust with facets above and below.
Facet sluffs we easily triggered today were a clear sign of how weak the snow surface is.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating