Observation: Mt Holly

Observation Date
01/1/2016
Observer Name
Toddeo

Region:

Location Name or Route
Tushers - Mt Holly
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Direction
East
Wind Speed
Strong
Weather Comments
Cold and windy, a lot of transport, wind slowed down a bit during the late afternoon. I estimated winds at >35 mph.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
5"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

5" new in sheltered areas, low density stellers.

Exposed areas at tree line and in the alpine were a mixed bag of wind crust, drifts, slabs and scoured areas.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Cracking
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
2 recent avalanches were observed photos below, both looked like cornice falls. East winds were blowing all day and loading in what I imagine are unusual areas. Cracking was generally localized and not shooting. Basal facets exist in typical northerly aspects as well as some south aspects above 11,000', see pit profile below.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

Wind slabs were my biggest concern today, generally localized with a moderate hazard.  The thing to remember about east winds is that they can surprise us with wind slabs in typically sheltered as well as odd areas.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments

The basal facets are still sitting above the ground, I think the overlaying slab is bridging and gaining strength.

Moderate hazard with the potential for serious consequences.

Snow Profile
Aspect
Southwest
Elevation
11200
Slope Angle
25
Comments

Of note in the above pit profile is shovel shears in the basal facets and above a 5mm knife hard crust mid pack, ECTN with a lot of weight applied at end.  I dug the pit at this location to look for facets at upper elevation south aspects, not disappointed!

Photo of facets below, remember this is on a south aspect.....I am use to seeing this in Canada not Utah, time to get used to a new area!

Photos of two recent avalanches below.

North aspects on Lake Peak consist of basal facets below a supportable 2 finger slab capped with 5" of low density snow.  The low density snow may not support much of a load if the storms predicted for next week come through as predicted.  This would be the initial primary hazard.

Sleds were still bogging down a bit into the basal facets

Overall a Moderate hazard, I did nor see anything alarming in any of the areas traveled today

Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates