11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
2/4/2017
Observer Name: 
Mike H and Derek D
Location Name or Route: 
Cutler Ridge
Weather
Sky: 
Broken
Wind Direction: 
Southwest
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
Somewhat dreary day on Cutler Ridge. Spitting rain at the trailhead for a minute, but nothing significant. The winds were moving lots of snow on the ridge tops, and above the Ben Lomond Peak weather station. Temps were warm but as forecasted the temps dropped throughout the day, which began to create some melt freeze crusts in lower elevations.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
5"
New Snow Density: 
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Dense Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

We checked a lot of boxes in conditions today.  When I began my day, I was prepared for lots of wind crust, and breakable crusts.  Most all of the mid elevation northern aspects skied very well.  So long as you stepped off the skin track and went searching, good snow was not hard to find.  Melt freeze crusts in our lower elevations formed in the afternoon as the temps cooled and the sun disappeared.  We didn't venture into the upper elevations today with all the wind.  

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Wind Loading
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments: 

Lots of snow available for transport and lots of wind out there today.  I imagine we will see some larger wind slabs forming off our ridges and sub ridges.  

Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend: 
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments: 

We still have some layers of concern but this problem is becoming harder and harder to find.  If we do trigger one of these avalanches though, it could be catastrophic and in the right terrain, unsurvivable.  Low probability, High consequence is the name of the game with these.  No results with our ECT tests today despite the compression tests revealing some instabilities. 

Comments: 

Picture 1 - Snow profile (note the 300cm probe next to the ruler.... its deep out there)

Picture 2 - some graupel on the surface (above 7,000 ft)

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