11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
12/29/2016
Observer Name: 
Wilson
Location Name or Route: 
Bunnell's Ridge
Weather
Sky: 
Clear
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Weather Comments: 
Clear night, strong temperature inversion. Started hiking in down puffy at Big Springs Trailhead, but transitioned to T-shirt and rolled-up pants for south facing hike up the Fair Weather Ridge. Temps in the high 30s. Winds calm at Bunnell's.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

Lots to choose from out there!  Clear night with cold valley temps led to surface hoar growth in the low areas around the creek.  Flat and northerly facing areas held weak loose surface snow; by far the best skiing of the primarily south-aspect tour was in the out track-zone along the trail where some faceting had occurred and neither wind nor heat had played spoiler.

 Skinning up a south aspect ridge--and thus rolling between a squeezably-wet surface on SSW and dry snow under a breakable wind slab to the ESE--was a case in point for skin wax.

Coming out a scrubby south facing gully took me back to skiing as an 8-year-old lock-kneed snow-plower: graceless transitions from melt-freeze crust through a small strip of lovely loose and then onto breakable wind crust .  Pretty dang fun, really.

Comments: 

Good visibility for looking at older avalanches:

The first avalanche presumably came down on the morning of 12/16: loading up high brought snow down through a lower-elevation track where it entrained snow that had soaked up plenty of recent rain.

The second presumably occurred after the Christmas storm: on the 27th high winds blew from the SSE across Bunnell's ridge and might have transported the new snow unto the north side.  The would-be slide cracked wide (over 100 ') but didn't appear to make it throught the wall of trees into the steeper slopes below.

The 3rd set of avalanches--minor loose sluffs running on steep terrain--speak to the weak surface snow.  We saw most on South aspects but that could be a function of our view: East and North East also had sluffing.  Nothing that we saw stepped down into a layer below.

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

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