Observation: Spring City Canyon

Observation Date
01/16/2016
Observer Name
Kobernik - Kendall

Region:

Location Name or Route
Spring City Canyon
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Northwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Clouds rolled in mid day with light snow showers following. Wind speeds were much less than I anticipated.
Comments

I took advantage of the good visibility this morning to get up on the high ridges and see what the recent wind had done.  I was quite surprised to see that not much snow had been transported.  Without any significant wind transport, it was obvious that the avalanche danger had not increased and this meant a good day of riding on the steeper slopes could be had.  I went back down the canyon and grabbed my trusty "Avalanche Girl" and we headed back up.

We ended up skiing all afternoon without seeing any obvious signs of instability.  No cracking, collapsing and very little notable wind drifting along the ridges.

We were able to look at numerous locations where we found weak faceted snow under the new snow.  This faceted snow formed during the clear weather early last week.  Currently, it is not an issue.  We were able to get it to shear in tests but, again, it's not causing any problems with the small amount of low density snow on top of it.  With more snow and wind it certainly could prove to be a significant weak layer that produces avalanches.  It still looks like the wind is going to pick up tonight and we'll see another shot of snow.  This could be enough to change the game.  If this happens we may see much more sensitive conditions on Sunday with human triggered avalanches likely.

Video

If we get another 4 inches of snow tonight with an increase in wind, the avalanche danger may reach CONSIDERABLE for Sunday.

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