11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
1/20/2017
Observer Name: 
Dave Garcia
Region: 
Moab
Location Name or Route: 
Noriega's
Weather
Sky: 
Overcast
Precipitation: 
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction: 
South
Wind Speed: 
Light
Weather Comments: 
Heavy snowfall at the Trans La Sal TH lasted for maybe an hour and then became light. It was on and off light snow throughout the remainder of the day and even a patch of blue sky on our exit back to the truck. Winds out of the south were mostly light in our neck of the woods today, moderate on Noriega Peak.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
10"
New Snow Density: 
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments: 
8 to 10 inches of new snow today. A lot of graupel fell with this most recent snow. The upper three inches contained a lot of graupel. This made for a very loose surface layer. If we get dense or more cohesive snow on top of today's surface I would expect it to act as a weak layer. We kept our slope angles low today, but I would expect sluffing and point release slides within the new snow on steeper terrain.
Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Heavy Snowfall
Cracking
Collapsing
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Loose Dry Snow
Trend: 
Same
Problem #1 Comments: 
As mentioned above, the surface snow today was very loose and filled with lots of graupel. It's rare to see graupel accumulate as deep as it was this morning. I would expect loose snow sluffs on steep terrain on all aspects. Furthermore this could be our next weak layer if we receive the snow that is currently forecasted.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
New Snow
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments: 
In a lot of places today the surface snow was too loose to behave like a slab. However I found some variation in the surface snow as we traveled, and in some spots the new snow was starting to take on slab like properties. Shooting cracks in the snow like the ones we saw today are a good indication of slab formation.
This is what the top three inches of snow looked like today, lots of graupel, very loose.
Small cracks shooting out from our skis. Loud whoomphing associated with collapses on the ridge line.
Today's Observed Danger Rating: 
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating: 
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates: 
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