Observation: Puffer Lake

Observation Date
12/10/2016
Observer Name
Toddeo

Region:

Location Name or Route
Tushers - Puffer Lake Area
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Strong
Weather Comments
Warm day, moderate winds in the sub-alpine and strong in the alpine.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

Dry settled powder in wind-protected areas above 9,700 (trailhead)'.  Some thin crusts in sun exposed areas.  Some wind crusts in places.

 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Wind was my biggest concern today, enough to keep me out of the alpine. Did not look like a lot of transport on the ridgetops, most of the available snow had already blown away. Some basal facets, see snow profile below.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

Wind slabs at or above treeline.  Moderate hazard.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Normal Caution
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments

Normal caution for a thin snowpack with underlying facets.

Low danger below tree line.

Snow Profile
Aspect
Northwest
Elevation
10300
Slope Angle
25
Comments

HS 20-24" in general. 

Basal facets are 4-5" of 4-finger density, rounding, dry (see photo below).

Overlying snow pack grades from 2 finger upward to 4 finger.

Photo below:  Basal Facets.

Photo below:  In general I was able to isolate the snow pack to the ground.  This is one exception on a NW aspect at about 10,000', HS is about 14" in this location.  Column broke on facets.  This would be a concern with additional loading.

I was surprised that the snow is holding up and staying dry considering the above freezing or near freezing temps at 10,000.

The alpine has been blown very clear of snow in many places.  The area I went to ski on City Creek Peak was looking real thin.

Overall a low hazard in sub alpine areas and moderate in alpine areas where there are accumulations of wind drifted snow.

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