11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
2/5/2017
Observer Name: 
Mark Staples
Region: 
Uintas
Location Name or Route: 
Eastern Soapstone Basin
Weather
Sky: 
Few
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Weather Comments: 
Beautiful day with warm temps, sunshine and great views of the Wasatch Mountains and high Uinta Peaks.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

Great riding conditions. Sun exposed snow was just starting to get wet.

Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend: 
Same
Problem #1 Comments: 

In Soapstone basin it was generally a low danger danger unless you found a pocket of buried surface hoar. While it isn't too sensitive with only about 6 inches of new snow on top (which isn't a big load), it shows red flags in stability tests. I don't trust it one bit.

Unfortunately the only way to know it exists is by digging a snowpit 2-3 feet deep. It is an obvious stripe. There were no other signs of instability - no recent avalanches, no cracking, nothing. The buried surface hoar is like a booby trap.

Also, it doesn't exist on high traffic slopes where it was destroyed by snowmobile traffic. Be especially watchful for it on slopes sheltered from wind that haven't seen much sled traffic.

Snow Profile
Aspect: 
East
Elevation: 
9700
Slope Angle: 
25
Comments: 

You can dig a trench with your sled to look for this layer (photo below); HOWEVER, the only way to see it is by using your shovel to make a clean wall in the snow. You can' find it in a rough pit wall.

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