11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
12/25/2017
Observer Name: 
Kobernik
Location Name or Route: 
Dam study plot/Sluff Cuts
Weather
Sky: 
Scattered
Wind Direction: 
West
Wind Speed: 
Light
Weather Comments: 
Clearing skies late in the PM.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
5"
New Snow Density: 
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Dense Loose
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

5" @ .5" H2O at the study plot.  About 7 inches along the Skyline Summit.

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Persistent Weak Layer
Problem #1 Comments: 

While checking snow and water at the Dam study plot, (North Candland trailhead) I noticed that a snowmobiler had remotely collapsed the cut-bank above the pullout.  It cracked over 100 feet long but didn't release.  2" of VERY weak faceted snow was no doubt the culprit.  Last week's low density snow has settled and gained some body.  Another 5 inches of higher density snow with wind added on top of last week's snow has now created a slab.  I was somewhat surprised that only 2" of faceted snow was enough to cause this type of collapse and propagation.

 

Comments: 

Currently, the avalanche danger in Huntington Canyon is fairly LOW.  In general, there is not enough snow to be a concern as of now.  However, there is enough snow in many starting zones to be of concern if it facets and turns into weak sugar snow over the next couple of weeks.

Conditions in Huntington Canyon are much different right now compared to higher on the Manti-Skyline proper where the majority of recreation takes place.  Higher on the Skyline, the terrain is holding a lot more weak snow on the north facing slopes.

Photo below, snowmobile track and crack along the cut bank.

Photo below, snowpack structure.  From the top down, 5" new snow from today, 5" settled snow from last week, 2" of depth hoar.

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

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