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Observation Date: 
12/26/2016
Observer Name: 
Dave Garcia
Region: 
Moab
Location Name or Route: 
Noriega's Backside
Weather
Sky: 
Clear
Weather Comments: 
Bluebird day in the mountains with no wind. Relatively cold temps with day time highs in the teens at mid elevations.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
12"
New Snow Density: 
Low
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments: 
The Christmas storm delivered at least a foot of new snow at high elevations. New snow depths ranged from 8 to 12 inches on todays route.
Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Wind Loading
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments: 
I was hoping to get to the geyser pass TH in order to check out things at higher elevations, but the road was a bit wild and I was relieved to make it to the Trans La Sal TH. So I headed up Noriega's Backside. First red flag encountered was a whoomph and collapse at relatively low elevation on a 25 degree west facing slope. A quick hand pit revealed 9 inches of new light to medium density snow on top of a stiff 4 inch windslab. The collapse was the windslab failing on a small layer of facets beneath it. I can not say how widespread this snowpack structure is, but I'll be out tomorrow to do some more poking around. I did not feel any more collapses as I traveled, but other parties I encountered said they felt one or two whoomphs on the skin up Noriega's which is mainly west facing. Other red flags out there right now include fresh wind loading, north through east faces are obviously very wind loaded from saturday's wind event. The west face of Tuk No. is extremely wind scoured right now. I was a bit surprised to see no activity in Upper Exxon's and similar slopes. Tomorrow should be another day of Moderate to Considerable danger depending on aspect and elevation.
Observer email: 
davegarcia84@gmail.com
Today's Observed Danger Rating: 
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating: 
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates: 
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