11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
1/20/2016
Observer Name: 
Brett Kobernik
Location Name or Route: 
Fairview Canyon, Skyline Summit, Huntington Canyon
Weather
Sky: 
Overcast
Wind Direction: 
Northwest
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Weather Comments: 
Clouds breaking in the late afternoon with wind speeds dropping off by 6pm.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
4"
New Snow Density: 
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

Difficult to get a good measurement of the new snow due to all of the wind transport today.

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Wind Drifted Snow
Problem #1 Comments: 

The period of windy conditions along with new snow over the last 5 days has increased the avalanche danger dramatically.  Knowing that there is weak snow within the snowpack and seeing all of the wind loading occurring is enough to know that the upper elevation steep east facing bowls should be avoided on Thursday.  The problem is that these are going to be stubborn and not all slopes will avalanche when a rider gets on them.  It is very tricky to know which ones will avalanche and which ones won't.  Lack of cracking or avalanches may lead one to think things are stable and give a false sense of security.  It feels to me like Thursday is a likely day to hear about someone triggering an avalanche.

Comments: 

I took advantage of some clearing late in the day to go up and look around.  The light wasn't good enough to see into the big east facing terrain so I couldn't make out any new avalanche activity.  However, the massive amounts of snow that was being transported was enough to tell me that things are dangerous up there right now.

I did find a natural avalanche in Huntington Canyon that released today during the wind.  DETAILS HERE

The wind was enough to stir things up in the mid elevations so you'll want to watch for fresh drifts on the steep slopes in these elevations.  The higher terrain is where most of the danger lies and I would stress to avoid the upper elevation more east facing steep slopes on Thursday.

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

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