Observation: USA Bowl

Observation Date
12/23/2017
Observer Name
Charlie S

Region:

Location Name or Route
USA Bowl
Weather
Sky
Obscured
Precipitation
Moderate Snowfall
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Winds from the west/southwest at 20mph above treeline. We had a leisurely noon start, and at least 8" had been dropped off over the morning. Some areas had wind transported snow up to the thighs. Tree skiing was just shy of knee deep in what felt like all new snow. Like the real USA, everything "West of the Mississippi" was pretty bare and wind blown. See pictures below. "East of the Mississippi" had all the sticking precip. The grassy slopes were far more appealing and we were careful to stay on 30 degrees and lower terrain. Snow in the trees felt much deeper. It was here that some cracking in the storm snow was observed. At around 1PM, the snow appeared to start turning "upside down" with graupel coming down at 2PM.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
10"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Snow Characteristics Comments
Likely all new snow for the terrain. Winds didn't let us stick around too long. Snow supported skiing but a few roots and looped branches made their claims during the descent.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Cracking
Red Flags Comments
Cracking in the new snow for some wind drifts and in the trees.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Storm Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
Cracking observed in new snow.
Snow Profile
Aspect
Southwest
Elevation
9200
Slope Angle
25
Comments
Blustery and popular. First photo is of the "Western" half of USA Bowl. Pretty sparse (sorry if the image is all crooked; Windows and the iPhone are not cooperating). The second is of the "Eastern" half with blowing snow and winds which made transitions a touch unpleasant.
Cracking in the trees.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates