Observation: Bountiful mountains

Observation Date
01/24/2017
Observer Name
Mark Staples

Region:

Location Name or Route
Between Bountiful and Grandview Peaks
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Weather Comments
Very cloudy and foggy with light snow most of the day. LIght winds today, but previous winds have made large drifts all along the road and on the West side of these mountains.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
6"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments

Light snow on top, but obvious denser layer under that with another soft layer under that. Challenging riding conditions with this upside down snow.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Heavy Snowfall
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
TONS of new snow over the last few days. Layer of small facets generally 3 feet deep is very obvious in snowpit wall. Due to poor visibility and difficult riding, we did not look at any big avalanche paths.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

I didn't look very hard, and I easily found a layer of small facets. This layer propagated a crack in Extended Column Tests repeatedly with varying amounts of force. In one case it broke with just 10 light taps from the wrist (ECTP10). That was scary. Other scores were ECTP16 and ECTP25. This layer is consistently 3 feet deep. It looked like there was a slight crust under these facets. Also, I could find a few surface hoar crystals but these were hard to find.
 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Storm Slab
Problem #2 Comments

Layer of soft snow (low density snow from early in the storm (Fri/Sat?) produced an ECTP16 as well. However, I could not get anything to crack on small test slopes.

Wind slab also a concern.

Snow Profile
Aspect
Northeast
Elevation
7900
Slope Angle
31
Today's Observed Danger Rating
None
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates