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Observation Date: 
01/31/2017
Observer Name: 
jg
Region: 
Uintas
Location Name or Route: 
Upper Weber Canyon
Weather
Sky: 
Scattered
Wind Direction: 
West
Wind Speed: 
Strong
Weather Comments: 
Few clouds to begin the day but as the day went on the cloud cover increased to more scattered and broken skies. Strong winds from the WSW with gusts on the high ridges in the 40's and 50's. Mild temps all and all but the winds made it feel cooler. Temps in the mid 30's at 9K and mid 20's at 10K.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

Mild temps made the low elevation snow slightly damp but the wind kept it from getting too sloppy. Variable riding conditions elsewhere with lots of wind effected snow. WSW winds were moving snow, even down off the ridge lines. 

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Wind Loading
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Wind Slab
Trend: 
Same
Problem #1 Comments: 

The winds were blowing hard and I'm sure there are some fresh winds slabs out there but it seemed like a lot of the snow was being blown into oblivion. Moderate to strong winds are forecasted to continue blowing. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
Normal Caution
Snow Profile
Aspect: 
North
Elevation: 
10300
Slope Angle: 
Unknown
Comments: 

Snow transport

The wind was the big issue today but didn't find much in the way of sensitive wind slabs. I'm sure there will be some if you poked around in upper elevation north through east facing terrain tomorrow. 

Not finding buried surface hoar in the areas traveled today. Upper elevation, open terrain just doesn't seem to be harboring the persistent slab problem probably due to the surface hoar getting knocked back by the wind prior to the storm. We were finding small grain facets down about 17" but they seemed to be rounding and gaining strength. Extended column tests did not propagate across the column and failed with hard effort and not very clean shears. Where we traveled I marked Normal Caution as the second avalanche problem we had to deal with.

This being said, based on my travels last week and other reports from backcountry users I'm still feeling like the persistent slab danger in any terrain that was sheltered from the wind is still the number one avalanche problem we're dealing with. This is primarily lower and mid elevation terrain but doesn't exclude higher elevation terrain if it was protected from the wind. The buried surface hoar is easy to identify if you dig down into the pack a couple of feet. Although not an issue today where we were traveling, the persistent slab issue is my biggest concern.

 

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