11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
1/23/2017
Observer Name: 
Charlie Stoker
Region: 
Ogden
Location Name or Route: 
Layton Foothills/Fernwood/Thurston Ridge
Weather
Sky: 
Overcast
Precipitation: 
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
About 25mph (guessed), predominantly SW. Gusts from both S and W.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
6"
New Snow Density: 
High
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Wind Crust
Rain-Rime Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments: 
The lower elevation foothills have seen a combination of wind, new snow, sun crust, and wind crusts. Surface conditions best described as "variable" between ice and deep wind drifts.
Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Loading
Collapsing
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments: 
Evidence of wind loading not only from today's events but the past several days. It appeared as if wind had blown from every direction as local eddies influenced the snow's dispersal.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
New Snow
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments: 
Strong, heavy snow being quickly deposited. About 6 inches, average, over the course of the tour. Some may have been from yesterday.
Snow Profile
Aspect: 
West
Elevation: 
6200
Slope Angle: 
24
Comments: 
With all the canyons being closed, decided to go for a safe, but poor riding condition tour up Thurston Ridge from the Fernwood trailhead. I keep hoping for this ridge to be good, but the low elevation does not lend itself to enjoyable skiing. Skied in about 1.5 miles to gain 1000' (final elevation 6150'). Dug a pit. The chosen location had a snow depth of about 2'. During my skin up, conditions ranged from 4-5' wind drifts to 2" of ice on wind blown ridges. It was hard to determine an "average" location. Definitely "early season" conditions down low.
I dug a pit, performed a rudimentary shovel tilt test, and compression test. This was at 4:30PM. Notes on the pit: Bottom 6-8", Fist hardness Middle 6-8", Weak, faceted snow. Top 6-8", 4F-1F hardness, softer on top. Notes on the shovel tilt test: the strength of the new snow is quite remarkable. I attempted to get a good photo of the shear surface but lighting and winds made this difficult.
Notes on the CT test: CT14. Initial collapse at 13, and then 14 the whole block pulled out (as shown in the picture). Final screen capture shows location, angle, and view from the pit.
Today's Observed Danger Rating: 
High
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating: 
High
Snow Profile Coordinates: 
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