11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
1/21/2017
Observer Name: 
Bill Hunt
Region: 
Ogden
Location Name or Route: 
Snowbasin backcountry
Weather
Sky: 
Obscured
Precipitation: 
Moderate Snowfall
Wind Direction: 
West
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
Wind picked up later in the day.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
14"
New Snow Density: 
Low
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Loading
Cracking
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend: 
Same
Problem #1 Comments: 
Virtually all test slopes and ridgelines that we cut today produced soft slabs from 4 to 14" in depth, with sympathetic releases seen a couple times, up to 30 yards away.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
Loose Dry Snow
Trend: 
Same
Problem #2 Comments: 
Some long running sluffs were seen, running up a couple hundred feet, even at relatively low elevations like 7500'.
Comments: 
4 to 6" soft wind slab at 9300'. Next, 8 to 10" soft wind slab was easily triggered along this ridge at 8500'. I was surprised to see slopes measured in the 35 degree range cracking and moving, although not moving far.
Here a cut on the lower angle side of this test slope, photo left, sympathetic'ed a couple yards over to the steeper section and produced a 6" soft slab about 10 feet wide. This propagated in width and depth somewhat, and ran about 100 yards.
Cracking was evident on many slopes that were not steep enough to move. Next, later in the day, this ridge area had loaded enough to have crowns in the 12 to 14" range; only moving about 15 yards because the slope angles go to the 30 degree range here fairly quickly, but anything with more sustained steepness and wind exposure could produce significant slides. I would call it Considerable above 8500', especially anywhere wind affected. Below 8500', it seems like a tricky Moderate hazard.
Today's Observed Danger Rating: 
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating: 
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates: 
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