Observation: Willows, West Monitor

Observation Date
12/29/2017
Observer Name
S. Zimmerman-Wall

Region:

Location Name or Route
Willow Fork/Will's Hill
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Clear and cool to start at 730am with increasing clouds and wind throughout morning. Warm in the sun out of the wind. Above 9500', moderate winds were moving snow across many West/Southwest slopes and small snow cyclones were visible at times along ridges.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Faceted Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
South had a thin melt freeze crust from yesterday. The remaining aspects sported faceted surfaces with some wind texture. Skiing on the west and north was quite enjoyable where there was good coverage.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Noted one avalanche off of the east facing chutes of Raymond, perhaps a small wind slab from the incessant westerlies. Wind was drifting snow onto leeward slopes of Montiors as well. Hand pits and ski pole penetrometer continues to reveal poor structure. Our group of three noted several collapses and some small cracks on WNW Will's Hill near a stand of aspens. On exit through Willow Fork, we found 4mm Surface Hoar feathers growing in a sheltered meadow at 8800ft.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
As noted by the collapsing and poor structure, this is still present in our minds. Avoided any slopes of consequence and stuck to broad low angle terrain and ridgelines. Expect wind slabs to be forming in the higher terrain, but our group did not observe any during the tour.
Photos Below: 1. Wind saltation on Will's Hill 2. West Monitor Bowl with wind effect and wildlife tracks on slope 3. Bushwacking up the South face of Main Willow 4. Surface Hoar Feathers
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates