11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
12/8/2016
Observer Name: 
Kobernik - Kendall
Location Name or Route: 
Lake Canyon, Big Meadow
Weather
Sky: 
Overcast
Precipitation: 
Moderate Snowfall
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
Stormy period with moderate to strong wind from the southwest, a couple of inches of new snow. Short lived riming, no crust on the snow surface formed, just on our goggles.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

We stayed in a sheltered area so the snow surface remained excellent.  Wind slabs and crusts were obviously present in the more exposed areas.

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Wind Loading
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments: 

Pockets of fresh wind blown snow on the steeper slopes along the exposed ridges was the main concern today.

Snow Profile
Aspect: 
Northeast
Elevation: 
9900
Slope Angle: 
25
Comments: 

Our main focus today was to look at the current snow structure of the existing snowpack.  We wanted to look at deeper layers as well as the condition of the snow surface.  After traveling and poking around, we concluded that the current snowpack looks pretty good.  There are no significantly weak layers deep in the pack and the surface is not ridiculously loose.  

The obvious reason for studying the current snowpack is to speculate on how it will react with the upcoming stormy period.  My current thinking is that avalanche activity with the upcoming storm will involve layering within the expected new snow.  Perhaps we might see shears at the new snow/old snow interface.  Warming temperatures may produce an upside down layering and the anticipated strong winds will add to this.  I don't think that we will see much in the line of avalanches breaking into the older snow which is already present.

Below:  Good surface conditions in the sheltered terrain.  This may not be the case into the weekend with continued strong wind expected and perhaps some dense upside down snow.

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

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