Observation: Moab

Observation Date
12/21/2016
Observer Name
Dave Garcia

Region:

Location Name or Route
Laurel Highway/Gold's Basin
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Cloudy day in the mountains with warm temperatures. Temps were right around 32 F. Light winds from the west on the ridge tops and calm in the drainage bottoms.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Skied high elevation south facing today. Sadly it has formed a pretty stout sun crust. Yesterday it was high density surfy cream on this aspect and today very crusty (see photo).
Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Dug on a north facing slope and found a slab on top of a weak layer, see below for details.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
Dug a pit on a north facing slope, 33 degrees at about 10,900 ft. Total snow depth is 95 cm. The buried weak layer was found about 20cm below the surface at 75cm. Most likely buried surface hoar. The weak layer was easily revealed with a shovel shear. This layer failed in a compression test CT4 Q2. I conducted an extended column test with no results, ECTX. The shovel shear also revealed a weak layer at 47 cm but this layer did not fail in any tests. The weakness at 75cm is the layer to be most concerned about right now, and I will be watching it in the days to come.
Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
10900
Slope Angle
33
The sun crust on high elevation south facing slope.
A shot of the layer at 75cm that failed CT4 Q2.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates