Observation: Gold Hill

Observation Date
02/4/2017
Observer Name
Ted Scroggin

Region:

Location Name or Route
Gold Hill Basin
Weather
Sky
Broken
Precipitation
Moderate Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Moderate snowfall this morning and with the overnight snow, the trialhead picked up 4~5" and a solid 8~10" in the Gold Hill area.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
10"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments
A nice little storm to freshen things up and cover the old hard tracks. The new snow seemed a bit upside down with slightly denser snow on top and lighter snow underneath, but conditions where still quite good.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Cracking
Red Flags Comments
There were some fresh wind drifts and cracking within the new snow. Late in the afternoon when I was out, the wind loading had mellowed some. The shallow wind drifts were just off the ridge lines and roughly 10~12" deep and just pockety.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
The wind slabs I encountered today were quite manageable, breaking only several inches deep and only involved the new snow. I did not venture out into steep terrain and test bigger slopes. I was finding these fresh wind slabs just off the ridge lines and only small pockets.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments
I did not spend much time looking into buried weak layers and my quick snow pits did not reveal any glaring weaknesses. I was observing some moderate clean shears just within the snow.
Comments
Mostly just sluffing of the new snow when I got a small piece of wind drifted snow to break and move downhill. I was able to find one small pocket of wind slab just off the ridge on a northeast facing slope. It needed a bit of slope angle to move and just involved the new snow.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates