Observation: Big Meadow

Observation Date
01/20/2017
Observer Name
Darce Trotter / Steve Cote

Region:

Location Name or Route
Big Meadow
Weather
Sky
Broken
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
We lucked out and got into Big Meadow in window of visibility, Sun even broke through for a while, but by early afternoon socked back in, SW winds building throughout the day, one wave looked menacing, but then turned south.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
3"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Rain-Rime Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

As would be expected, this new snow came in much warmer, and did not amount to much, but off interest is the crunchy rime/rain? crust widespread but much weaker in sheltered areas, but was stiffer out in the open, and when combined with some wind effect, made for some thicker turns.  Having been spoiled by stellar conditions in the last few weeks did not hamper the fun.  We did notice a couple of cornice falls along Wedding Ring Ridge, but in a lot of places the cornice building has progressed to the point they have deformed to the point of contact with snow beneath them.  We noticed some riming in the trees in places, but not everywhere. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Rime crust could be a player with big load applied, surface hoar that is on everyones mind is now capped with 3" of denser snow topped with this rime crust, and wind crusts in more exposed terrain
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Storm Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

more snow forecast and we have a couple of layers of concern at old snow interface. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Cornice
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments

new snow and wind  will again create new problems

Snow Profile
Aspect
Northeast
Elevation
9200
Slope Angle
20
Comments

we are really only concerned with the upper layers of the snow pack, measured with a probe at this location, Steve hit 270 cm!!

175 cm at Miller Flat

had to rescue interval board at Miller Flat 

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