Observation: Box Elder

Observation Date
02/17/2016
Observer Name
Joey Camps

Region:

Location Name or Route
Box Elder
Weather
Sky
Broken
Wind Direction
South
Wind Speed
Strong
Weather Comments
Windy all day from the South. Picked up even more in the afternoon to the point that standing on the Pffieferhorn ridge was unbearable.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Rain-Rime Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
All of the riding today was on various supportable surfaces with the exception of some North tree'd/wind protected creamy pow. Skinning up the North ridge of Box was one of the most heinous things I have ever done. It was wind lips with a stout rime crust on top 2-4mm thick. I ended up booting from the start of the NE to the top because it was comparable to skinning on a side hilled skating rink. The South through West aspects mostly had an old melt-freeze crust that was wind swept. For a bit the sun got to it and made for nice turns, not slushy but not chattery either. Occasionally, there was some wind board in spots which made for chalky turns. Skiing the West face was similar. However; down lower in the gully I was able to make chalky smooth turns on the protected aspects of the gully and in the trees. Skinning back up the South side of the Pffieferhorn was moist but firm, I could not even see my own skin track behind me. I did not touch anything on the East side of the compass, but that seems to be where all the new snow had blown. Now any remaining snow for transport has been moved to the North aspects with the howling South wind today. I was trying to move fast today so I did not dig any pits. However, I had a hard time getting through the top 4-5" of snow with my poles or hands. I think most of the upcoming danger will be mostly dealt with on the surface, with the exception of any lingering persistent slab or maybe buried wind slab on NW-SE.
Comments
I think West through South will have a hard time bonding with the new snow on the melt/freeze, rain/rime crusts. The North through East aspects will have wind slabs being buried by new snow. I believe this storm is suppose to come in wet and get much colder. So maybe bonding will be okay. But with the high wind forecast, I think for the most part it will be a junk show Thursday especially afternoon through Friday. Sorry this is not the best obs but I noticed Provo was thin on obs and I thought I would get something out there.
Rime crust at 10,800ft on Box Elder North Ridge
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Low
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates