Observation: Meadows

Observation Date
12/23/2017
Observer Name
Jim M

Region:

Location Name or Route
Silver Fork / Meadow Chutes
Weather
Sky
Obscured
Precipitation
Moderate Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Moderate snowfall with moderate to strong winds. Cold temps...Looked at a thermometer and it read something teen. Knowing it'd be windy, I chose Meadows as it tends to be more sheltered from NW & SW winds. Today was the exception to that rule. Winds howling enough on the ridge to call it a day.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
12"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments
12" at the trailhead, increasing to around15" in protected areas up near the ridge. That said, not many areas protected from the wind up high.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Cracking
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Mostly dealing with new snow only to the ground but anywhere there was old snow underneath, new snow was reactive. Lots of cracking and stress cracks shooting a fair distance. Between lack of slope angle and still lots of anchors, nothing was moving. Up higher, there was a bit more wind effect to the snow. Definitely had a more dense, slabby feel to it.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Storm Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
Not an issue where we were today as slope angles and/or plenty of anchors made it impossible for storm slab to get moving. I imagine in places where there is old snow, no anchors and the right pitch, it'd be easy to get things going. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a natural avi cycle late afternoon & overnight in places. I put same for the trend but a night of settling should lessen how reactive the storm slab was. That said, I wouldn't trust it anywhere over 32 degrees with old snow.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
Winds were nuking enough to definitely affect the snow up high, although didn't encounter any wind slabs. Where we hit the ridge was sheltered enough. I'm sure there were plenty off any wind exposed ridges.
Comments
Nice to see a descent amount of snow (at least for BCC) but the biggest problem today was still coverage. We stuck to slopes wth enough south in them that bottom feeding was an issue. Then there was the exit from hell through unskiable sage and lumber. Photos are of cracking and stress web cracking on our up.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates