11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
2/6/2016
Observer Name: 
Toddeo
Location Name or Route: 
Tushers - Mt. Holly and Lake Peak
Weather
Sky: 
Clear
Wind Speed: 
Light
Weather Comments: 
Warm day! Able to bask in the sun and sit on a rock at 11,500'. Very light winds in the alpine.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

Mixed bag, can't say i really saw anything I would call powder.  Many aspects were damp and will be crusted tomorrow.  North facing aspects below 10,000' were also damp.

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Wet Snow
Trend: 
Same
Problem #1 Comments: 

Wet slabs are my primary concern today and tomorrow.  This is the 1st heat cycle since the last storm.

Moderate to considerable hazard, south half of the compass in the alpine and all aspects tree line and below.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend: 
Same
Problem #2 Comments: 

Wind slabs sitting over facets on south aspects in the alpine, these are also likely present on other aspects that I did not travel through in the alpine.

Hard call on the hazard, I treated it as considerable but moderate is more likely, the slabs seemed old and lacking energy, that being said, an ECTP 2 score in the snow pit photo below warrants caution.

Snow Profile
Aspect: 
Southwest
Elevation: 
11300
Slope Angle: 
30
Comments: 

2 layers of facets highlighted with gloves.  Upper 2" thick wind slab failed on isolation.  Rest of column failed on lower facets as ECTP 2, Q2.  Photo of basal facets below.  HS in this area very variable.

One more snow profile below, Lake Peak, west aspects 10,800.  HS 140 cm with 10 cm of rounding 4 finger facts at the base (not visible in photo).  This is a popular spot close to Eagle Point Resort.  The midpack generally grades from 1 finger upward to 2 to 4 with some inversions that are likely old wind crusts.

Three photos of not so recent activity below:

1, Mt Holly, south aspect

2, Lake Peak, Northeast aspect

3, Mt Holly, Northeast aspect, note coyote hole in debris, this hole is over 6 deep and likely holds a deer based on some hair.  This path is very scoured at the top and likely ran early in the season.

4, crack in pencil to knife hard drift at top of path in photo above.

Generally a moderate hazard with pockets of considerable in wind loaded areas of the alpine.  I would also say considerable for areas receiving direct sun.  My hazard is based on worst case scenario.

Of note, the snow yesterday in the Pahvants had a new crispy feel to it, not so in the Tushers, I am attributing this to wind impacts in elevations 2000 to 3000 feet higher.  

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