Observation: UFO Bowls

Observation Date
01/26/2017
Observer Name
Wilson, Covington, Hardesty

Region:

Location Name or Route
UFO bowls
Weather
Sky
Scattered
Weather Comments
Brilliant sunshine and scattered clouds in the mountains. Clinging valley clouds deposited a couple inches of snow in Provo Canyon with only a trace at the Aspen grove weather station and nothing up high. Cold enough that south didn't seem impacted, although we didn't ski steep solar aspects to verify. Calm.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Snow Characteristics Comments

Marvelous skiing and easy trail breaking.  Newest snow felt (under foot) higher density than the snow in Little Cottowood felt yesterday.  No real wind affect in our area.  Yet another good storm: Monday's bed surface was Thursday's soft powder.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Red Flags Comments
Crowns 1 to 2' deep from Monday? visible at the mid and upper elevations and at least on North through Southeast slopes: but those are the only ones we were looking at. Avalanches appeared wide and connected, but at least the one we dug into ran within the new snow 35 to 40 cm down rather than on the old/new interface surface hoar. Appears to have been a widespread cycle. No evidence of more recent avalanches or current weakness at that layer. no cracking or collapsing in storm or persistent weaknesses
Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
7800
Slope Angle
30
Comments

Dug near the surface on north and east facing slopes at 7,700': neither pit had frightening results: CT Hard Q3 within storm snow between graupel layers on east, and ECTX on North.  5-10mm surface hoar 50 cm down in the north facing pit--however inactive- made us curious to dig in further locations.  North northwest 8,900 feet revealed no surface hoar and ECTX.

We also dug into the crown of the slide in UFO 3: 9800' east facing.  Here the failure plane was 40cm down within the new storm snow, about 8 cm above the old/new interface that preceded this last round of storms.  No sign of surface hoar at this location.  

Avalanche cycle in the rear-view, and likely healed if all activity was in the new snow.  Still, history of widespread surface hoar and it's presence in pit made for some uncertainty (might it be active in just the right spot?) and thus a moderate hazard

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