Observation: Ephraim Canyon

Observation Date
03/25/2016
Observer Name
Mark Staples, Trent Meisenheimer

Region:

Location Name or Route
Ephraim Canyon and North Fork of Manti Canyon
Weather
Sky
Obscured
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Weather Comments
Cold and light snow. Good to see winter is still around.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
11"
New Snow Density
High
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments

There have been strong winds recently. Sheltered slopes have good dense powder. At the head of Ephraim Canyon and the North Fork of Manti Canyon, we consistently found 10-12 inches of snow from Tuesday, March 22. GBRC Snotel recorded 1.4 inches of water during the day on Mar 22. This seems accurate.

Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Problem #1 Comments

The wind has transported a lot of snow and built decent drifts on top of the skyline. I'm sure you could find a wind slab that will break, but many will not. We cut many fresh drifts and did not see ANY cracking.
 

Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
10000
Slope Angle
25
Comments

There are several layers of snow in the upper 2 feet of the snowpack with ice crusts, graupel (like hail), and a few very small facets. They can be seen in the photo. The weakest of these layers is the graupel pellets buried about 14 inches deep. However, none of these layers would propagate a crack which was notable because they have 1.4 inches of water on them which is a decent load.

Photo below shows these layers. The blue crystal card shows the location of the graupel. Below it is a fragile crust with some very small facets under. Neither the facets or the grauple cause any concern. Could they produce an avalanche? Possibly, but it is unlikely.

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