Observation: Elizabeth Pass

Observation Date
Observer Name
Ted Scroggin
Uintas » Elizabeth Pass
Location Name or Route
Elizabeth Ridge
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Perfectly clear skies and mild temperatures for the end of January. The winds even on top of Elizabeth Ridge where you can always count on some wind, today they were light from the south.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Snow conditions this morning were crusted down near the trail head and around 10,000' nice dense and loose faceted snow made for very nice riding conditions. There was not much wind damaged snow even in this area where the wind can just strip snow making a rough riding surface.
Red Flags
Red Flags Comments
No red flags today where I traveled.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
I found a fairly deep snow pack in this area (150cm/60") and one propagation of an ECT test, but the score was very high with hard hits from the shoulder. This area gets a lot of wind transported snow and the slopes on the north side of the compass can see some big drifts and deeper snow.
A fairly deep snow pack with around 150cm/60" of snow and the December weak layer is getting deeper in the snow pack and harder to get it to react. I can still get a column of snow to propagate a crack in this weak layer, but it is taking some very hard hits from the shoulder.
Kind of thought I might find some old avalanche activity, but any slides have likely been filled back in from all the wind this place receives. Looks like some of the cornices have broken off, but did not trigger any avalanches that I could see.
This north side of Elizabeth Ridge is a flat broad area and the wind strips lots of snow and dumps it onto the lee side of the ridge.
There was some old tired blocks of wind drifted snow that would break out, but there was no slabs of dense snow that would crack any distance.
The cold clear nights have developed some nice surface hoar that is staying preserved right now.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating