Observation: Cutler Ridge

Observation Date
02/21/2017
Observer Name
kory, Ben and Denver B

Region:

Location Name or Route
Cutler
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Strong
Weather Comments
Yes I am going to say strong!! No blowing snow though which I found surprising but have all just gotten saturated in the rain last night. Snowbasin Massif did have a lot of blowing snow that I noted from the house. It is always interesting to see the different climates so close together. Rain snow line last night was at 9,000 ft.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Very Damp

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
No recent avalanches. But I am still interested because the storm slab avalanches failing on the NSF from 2/11 through 2/15 sliding on the 2/10 rain crust was very widespread. I was unable to make it that high due to winds today but hopefully with the rain last night this layer was squished.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wet Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

Honestly it was so warm and wet I think this is the number one problem.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments

Guilty until proven innocent.  The wind slabs and storm slabs at upper elevation all seem to be failing on the NSF from 2/11-15 on upper elevation (above 8,500ft) on E-N aspects.  I do still wonder if it is preserved or not but I want to check it out more before I disregard it.  Areas that it could have been preserved are heavily skied in the Snowbasin backcountry.  

Comments

Poor Ski conditions!


FORECASTER COMMENTS:  We're glad to have this team looking after bc avalanche conditions in the Ogden area mountains.  Thanks guys - 

Video

1.  So much snow has melted since Feb 1

2.  Just moist feeling outside.

3.  Bailey Cabin Unintentionally triggered.  Way bigger and well connected than originally thought.  

             On that note I keep talking about it but last week (2/11-15) our 5 inches of snow that fell on the night of 2/10 really faceted through.  This acted like a very shallow cold snowpack because the rain crust from the week of 2/7-9 was so thick it did not insulate the new snow.  This is just a hypothesis but we did have very weak snow above 8400 ft on E-N aspects and I wonder if it was still preserved with last night rain or not.  It did snow above 9,000 ft here looking at the trees.  Hopefully the wind subsides tomorrow and we can go look for it!  But this weak layer in the Ben Lomond area did produce shallow (20in at deepest) but very well connected avalanches sliding on a very slick bed surface.  This is also interesting because this was very isolated to the Ben Lomond/Willard Massif.  Snowbasin did not see great results or natural activity on this same weak layer.  

Video More Wind!

Video

1.  The usual suspects on Cutler.  Probably the most dangerous part besides skiing down.  

2.  Just wet sloppy snow.  You could see standing water in the runnels.

Video: Cutler winds were impressive check out the clouds.  But surprisingly no wind transport in Ben Lomond area but a lot in Snowbasin area.  

Video

1 and 2 Chili Peak slab not surprising had a wet slab/glide on the rocks last night sometime.

3.  Finally started snowing in the Ogden Valley at 8:20 PM (5,000Ft)

Video of Frontal Passage in Ogden Valley.  Red sky at dawn was right it was plain nasty today and the frontal passage was amazing.  No Lighting though.

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