11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
2/17/2017
Observer Name: 
R. Kennard
Region: 
Moab
Location Name or Route: 
Laurel Ridge
Weather
Sky: 
Scattered
Wind Direction: 
South
Wind Speed: 
Light
Weather Comments: 
It started out as a beautiful day in the mountains with scattered clouds, temps in the 20's and light winds. By 1:00 it was completley overcast and the winds had picked up, and by 3:00 it had started lightly snowing in the parking lot.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

The snow seams to have dried out a little from last weekends dose of Pacific Southwest conditions, and although you can still feel the bottom, the skiing is quite good in sheltered areas.  Any thing that receives sun during the day has a good melt freeze crust on it.  I pulled up a chunk in the Laurel meadows and it was about 2 inches thick.  I also found some isolated areas of thin wind crust on north facing slopes above tree line.

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

I would expect the avalanche danger to increase relative to the amount of snow this next round of storms brings in.  Be aware of rapidly changing conditions if you are out over the weekend.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
Wind Drifted Snow
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments: 

The winds are expected to increase tonight and tomorrow as this next round of disturbances moves through the area.  Be on the lookout for newly formed wind slabs on the lee side of slopes and terrain features if we see some good snow fall out of this system.  

Snow Profile
Aspect: 
North
Elevation: 
11000
Slope Angle: 
27
Comments: 

The snow pack seems to have set up very well after the spring like temps we have had the past few weeks.  I dug a pit on a north facing 27 degree slope at around 11,000'.  I found 15 cm of soft dry snow on top of 115 cm of snow that varied between 1 finger and pencil hard.  I performed two compression test and both times was unable to get the column to noticeably fail.  With that said I was able to get the column to separate with a shovel shear afterwards and both times it was a clean  separation at 85 to 90 cm.  

Probe deep snow pack!

Not the best photo, but you can see the clean separation of the column and the one finger pokes.

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