Observation: Ephraim Canyon

Observation Date
01/15/2016
Observer Name
Darce Trotter / Steve Cote

Region:

Location Name or Route
Ephraim Canyon, South Willow Creek
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
high humidity day, winds calm early but increased out of the SW all day, not bitter cold, some riming on exposed trees along ridgeline, threatened to break up several times, but never did, dropped out of clouds as we lost elevation coming down Ephraim Canyon to broken skies and some sun peeking through
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
5"
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments

new snow fell without wind in our location, landed of NSF and weakening surface, and the two combined  for excellent skiing conditions today, best we have had in a long time.  We were able to push the slope angles, new snow and recystralized old surface snow would sluff nicely on steeper slopes giving the illusion of much deeper surfing than expected.  we had not cracking or collaspes with the exception of when we went looking for cracked along exposed western ridgeline. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

enough wind build during the day to transport new snow and load pockets and fill in our up track where it was exposed 

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

shallow snow weaker, fat snow strong, as would suspect, required careful assessment will become difficult the further it is buried. 

Snow Profile
Aspect
Northwest
Slope Angle
29
Comments

we found deeper pack here than further north, very strong, but CT23 Q1 on surface hoar, NSF up 58 cm, really midpack, must have formed after Christmas Storm?  Still would not propagate in ECT, strong enough to withstand any stress we could apply. 

Video

we stayed away from exposed ridge to ski, wind whales/slabs/drifting were prevelant along far west ridge, which is very exposed, some cracking observed, but stayed away from steep wind loaded pockets

a look at shallow sheltered snow in trees along uptrack, we found all types on our uptrack from sandbox weak snow, to hard slab with new snow not well bonded making climbing challenging in several areas. 

Video

some riming where trees exposed 

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