11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
12/26/2017
Observer Name: 
Greg Gagne with Patrice Duvernay
Location Name or Route: 
Beartrap Fork
Weather
Sky: 
Clear
Wind Direction: 
Northwest
Wind Speed: 
Light
Weather Comments: 
Noticed some plumes off of the highest summits from the northwest winds.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

Christmas storm snow has settled out with 10 cms (4") ski pens. This makes for excellent travel and ski conditions where you can ride lower-angled slopes. Surface hoar was found on some wind-sheltered slopes, and some sluffing in the top few cms of snow on steeper shady aspects as the snow at the surface begins to facet. South and west aspects out of the wind will likely have a thin crust on Wednesday morning.

Decent coverage above 8000' in mid-BCC with 45 - 90 cms (18-36").

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

Collapsing and cracking down 45-60 cms (18-24") in deeper faceted layers. ECT failing on isolation down in faceted snow. Plenty of natural and human-triggered (and likely wildlife) slides running on faceted snow down near the ground.

Comments: 

The recent storms with dense snow have filled in mid-elevation terrain providing safer options for backcountry travel. With plenty of bulls-eye signs such as continued avalanche activity, booming collapses and cracking, conditions continue to be quite dangerous on steeper slopes.

Photos of

1. Small natural 

2. West Willow Ridgeline (we counted at least 5 pockets that had pulled out naturally)

3. West  Desolation Ridgeline (apparently wildlife triggered) [Thanks to Kristin for the photo!]

Video of extended column failing upon isolation (ECTPV Q1 down 45 cms)

Video: 

Video of collapsing and cracking on test slopes.

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