Observation: Smith-Moorehouse

Observation Date
02/12/2017
Observer Name
Paradis / Brackelsberg

Region:

Location Name or Route
Smith & Morehouse
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Very nice today to be outside. Temperature was only 2 degrees at the road at 8am but warmed with the sun during the day.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
8"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments

South aspects were getting warm and damp by 11am and there was plenty of evidence of wet activity, particular around cliff bands.

On other aspects, that had not been wind scoured and in the trees had nice settled powder.  On steeper slopes the new snow had yet to form a slab and would sluff easily, however these moved slowly and were not all that big.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Rapid Warming
Red Flags Comments
The primary red flags today was warming which was easy to avoid by sticking to more shaded slopes. On south aspects, the new snow was warm and there was evidence of wet activity. On small rolls, it was easy to see that this would sluff/avalanche with little effort. Otherwise at higher evelation the snow was quite strong (particularly for the Uintas) and was not saturated or unsupportable.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Loose Wet Snow
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

This was mainly an issue on south aspects and around cliff bands but not really an issue elsewhere.  

Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
9800
Slope Angle
30
Comments

Seems like we found a maritime snowpack in the Uintas which is a little weird.  Maybe this was an unusually deep spot but this is the deepest pit either of had ever dug in Utah - 410 cms or more than 13 feet deep.  We were 500 vertical feet below the ridgeline so it didn't seem like a spot with excessive windloading.  Overall the snow was quite strong and there was not a persistent weak layer problem were we dug.   

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