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Observation: Red Snow Cirque

Observation Date
Observer Name
Moab » Gold Basin » Red Snow Cirque
Location Name or Route
Gold Basin, Red Snow Cirque
Wind Speed
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
I traveled briefly on W and SW aspects, and there was a thin crust from the strong sun on Sunday. Southerly aspects are done for a while. I found excellent skiing in low angle terrain on Northerly aspects. The sun was very strong today, and at lower elevations the snow got a little sticky. If you're getting up in the mountains this week some fresh wax (for skis and skins) couldn't hurt.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
The snow isn't going to give you much feedback right now. Poor snowpack structure was found in a North facing pit at 10,440 ft.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
Poor snowpack structure remains, and most pits (W-N-E-SE) show about 50 cms of facets at the bottom. In just about all my pits, these facets have been gaining hardness since late January. On Saturday. on a NE aspect at 10,900 feet we observed the facets to be showing signs of rounding. Today's pit also shows rounding facets that continue to gain hardness. We are starting to stack a good amount of snow above the Decemeber and November facet layers. I found the December layer 109 cm below the surface. It is becoming hard to effect these weak layers with extended column tests. I got an ECTX. This is all good news, and is evidence that our snowpack is headed in the right direction.
I conducted two Deep Tap tests and got DT22 SC, and DT21 SC, both failing in the F+ hard November facets. The number of taps is important, but generally we conduct Deep Tap tests to look at the fracture character. SC stands for Sudden Collapse, and this is not a good result. Sudden Collapse results are often correlated with skier-triggered slab avalanches that are big enough to injure or bury a person.
Decent sized cornices are forming on the ridge above Red Snow Cirque. You can see a lot of dry-loose activity in this photo, as well as one small slab of wind-drifted snow that pulled out on the looker's left side.
Sure was pretty out there, you couldn't have asked for better weather today
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating