Observation: Box Elder

Observation Date
01/3/2016
Observer Name
Wilson, Slack, Hardesty

Region:

Location Name or Route
Box Elder--Shotgun Shoot from Dry Creek
Weather
Sky
Broken
Wind Direction
South
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Warm, calm, easy. We were, of course, on sheltered side.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Walking up ridge on pillows and swales, could see old cracks but initiated none. No collapsing noted. In short, drifts might be getting more stubborn. Came to Box Elder specifically to check out two different slides from New Year’s Day, but didn’t see any slides more recent than those.
Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
10200
Slope Angle
36
Comments

Goal of this quick crown profile from NNW facing 10,200’ was to determine on which layer the 1/1 Avalanche slid.  We were interested to find the slide cracked not in the basal facets but rather 20 cm higher.  The pencil hard slab slid above 12 cm of faceting (but not loose) snow sitting on top of the Dec 17 rime/freezing rain crust.  Probing the bed surface between the crown and the point where skier stepped out and triggered the slide tells a similar story, with 45-70 cm of structured snow remaining on the slope.  This in contrast to most of the length of the gunshot shoot which presumably pulled out in the Christmas cycle and is now covered by an unskiably thin veneer of faceted sugar.  Look-out in old paths after the next storm!

SE face shows wind damage despite low and relatively protected location.

Large ungulates rate hazard as low: Our party came from Dry Creek TH to avoid the very slope their tracks zig-zag across.

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