Observation: Hwy 150, Steiner, Lofty

Observation Date
Observer Name
Ted Scroggin
Uintas » Hwy 150, Steiner, Lofty
Location Name or Route
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Mostly clear skies with just high thin clouds over the high terrain and quite mild temperatures. The wind today was generally from a west northwest direction and it felt cool while on the exposed ridge lines.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Some nice dense settled powder on the shady side of the compass with surface hoar found fairly widespread and the lack of strong winds have kept it preserved for the moment. The sunny aspects had a combination of some damp snow, a crust that was not too thick and even some loose snow depending on the slight change in direction.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Red Flags Comments
For the most part I did not observe any red flags in my travels. The winds at times were finding some loose snow to blow around and there were some very shallow wind slabs off the more exposed ridge lines, these were mainly on the east facing slopes. I did see lots of older debris on the lower aprons of Bald Mt. and Reids Pk which the area likely went through a good natural avalanche cycle from this weeks storm.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wind Drifted Snow
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
I would think there are some isolated places in this higher terrain area where a deeper wind slab could get triggered and possibly break into some older weak layers. A slope might need a good thump from a cornice break to trigger something bigger. I did see a decent although small deeper slide in the Whiskey Creek area on a north facing slope. My guess is a chunk of snow from above hit the slope and trigger this pocket.
Avalanche Problem #2
Persistent Weak Layer
Problem #2 Comments
On a southeast facing slope I was able to locate and get a weak layer near a crust that is about a foot deep to propagate a crack after 22 hits. There was also a crust with some weak snow above it that was closer to the surface, but did not react with shovel hits.
One snow pit on this southeast facing slope had a couple crusts and weak layers near them. The deeper layer did propagate a crack after several shovel hits from the shoulder.
Just some very shallow wind slabs along this ridge line from west winds.
The terrain up around Bald Mt, Reids Peak and Steiner are really filled in and white. It was a great day to be up high checking out the views and snow conditions, should be a nice long season!
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating