Observation: Moab

Observation Date
12/30/2016
Observer Name
R. Kennard

Region:

Location Name or Route
Corkscrew Glades
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
It was fantastic day out in the backcountry. Temps seemed to be hovering right around freezing in the corkscrew neighbor hood today. Winds stayed light for the beginning part of the day, but picked up a little in the afternoon. Looked like their may be a storm brewing to the west towards the end of the day.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Faceted Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
Good powder skiing can still be found in sheltered areas in the La Sals. We noticed some surface hoar that had formed out in the open on north facing slopes. Melt Freeze crust was prevalent on southerly slopes. Things were still looking a little thin in the trees heading to the top of corkscrew, but the more open terrain had plenty of coverage to protect you from the sharks teeth, except on wind affected ridges. Coverage on the south west facing slope on the way out was thin and their were plenty of hazards to be aware of.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
It has been about a week since out last storm and things seem to be equalizing in the mountains. However their are still stubborn pockets of wind slab on the lee side of slopes. We also have our usual complicated snow pack to be aware of. Pole probes revealed some soft sugary snow towards the bottom of the snow pack. This combined with one of the stubborn wind slabs could send you for quite the ride on steeper terrain. I only noticed one collapse today. It was a very small pocket that settled out during my first few turns off of the top of corkscrew. it was in an area of shallow snow pack and only settled the snow immediately around me and did not seem to propagate through the snow pack. it was an isolated pocket, but one of these in the wrong area could spell trouble.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
This persistent slab will be something keep an eye on as the next storm system move in over the weekend.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates