Observation: Box Elder

Observation Date
01/10/2016
Observer Name
Brackelsberg

Region:

Location Name or Route
Box Elder Peak
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Sunny day up high. There was a mid elevation cloud layer that was causing a decent greenhousing effect in the mid elevations.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

We had a variety of snow conditions. 

  • We had significant surface hoar formations 
  • Mid elevations had a suncrust.  Based on the greenhousing happening today, I assume this was from a similar greenhouse effect from Saturday
  • The high ridges had a week wind slab that was very prone to cracking and breaking.  This wind slab was only about 1" in depth.
  • We had a significant collapse on a NW aspect.  This was a significant whoomph with a noticeable drop in the snowpack.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
We saw a lot of variety today as noted in the snow conditions. In addition, there was a small point release off of some trees that did entrain more snow (see photo).
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

Up high, a wind slab would be my primary concern.  If the winds pick up, this will most likely increase in danger.

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

There was a lot of evidence of past slides that appeared to be both during the Christmas cycle and also after the SE wind event.

Comments

Photo 1 is the large surface hoar we found during our climb of the SW ridge. The photo was of surface hoar on a branch, but the snow surface had the same surface hoar.

Photo 2 is the small point release slide the entrained additional snow on the SW aspect.

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