Observation: Copleys Canyon

Observation Date
Observer Name
Maynard G. Krebs


Location Name or Route
Pahvants - Copelys Canyon - Maynard's Bowl
Weather Comments
Warm day up high. Calm.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Faceted Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

I think I will go from powder to faceted loose.  The surface snow is weak on all aspects that are not damp or crusted.

Lower elevations are damp or crusted depending on aspect or time of day. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Poor snow pack structure due to faceted snow on the surface. This is more of a red flag warning due to forecasted snow amounts Sunday through Tuesday. With over an inch of water in the forecast, it may be enough to overload the very weak surface snow which consists of surface hoar and near surface facets. Some wind activity between Thursday afternoon and this morning. My guess is yesterday since my blown in skin track from Thursday was also covered in surface hoar. I think the hazrad during the next storm cycle will be mostly new snow only. Low lower pack appaers stable.
Avalanche Problem #1
Normal Caution
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

Currently normal caution in this area.  There are still areas of thin, weak snow.

Low danger.

Avalanche Problem #2
Wind Slab
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments

I would speculate that there are areas of wind slabs due to yesterday's wind.

Pockets of moderate danger.

Snow Profile
Slope Angle

HS = 38"

The Basal 6-7" consist of damp rounding facets (photo 1 below).

Two pencil hardness crusts are visible above the facets, they are marked with sticks.

The remainder of the snow pack grades from two finger through four finger capped by fist facets.  The four finger and fist hardness is last weeks storm snow.

The two finger mid pack consist of mostly rounded facets (photo  2 below)

Photos below:

1.  Basal facets.

2.  Mid-pack rounds.


Photo below:

Surface hoar and near surface facets on a west-northwest aspect at 8600'.  Mt. Catherine in the background.

Photo below:

Although it is hard to see, this slope slide during the last storm.  It looks like a 6" or so fracture in the area of the upper left of the photo.  This is also a good example of the terrain in this area.

I choose this area today because of the low danger and figured I should ski some bigger/steeper stuff before the next storm.

This area basically takes me two days to get to solo.  Day one is breaking trail up the canyon (Mountain Sheep) and west facing glades.  Day two I use the track to get in with enough time to ski the norths and have enough time to break out and ski another run.

The hazard is going to rise quickly to considerable with new snow.  I think this area's hazard today is spot-on with the Skyline forecast:  low with pockets of moderate. 

I figured I should name this area Maynard's Bowl due to Bob Denver's passing........RIP

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