Observation: Twin Lakes Pass

Observation Date
12/29/2017
Observer Name
Paradis / Caplis

Region:

Location Name or Route
Twin Lakes Pass to Silver Fork
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Sunny and warm with a moderate breeze from the west. Consistent wind over the past few days had stripped snow from west facing slopes and loaded lee slopes. This was also sufficient to slightly cover skin tracks in spots with snow broken from the wind making for slightly slippery travel.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Snow was generally soft but thin.  Looked at the snow on east facing slopes at Twin Lakes Pass and in Silver Fork.  In both locations only perhaps a 40-50cm total snow depth, with facets at the bottom, topped by a weak crust and capped by new snow from the Christmas storms.  At Twin Lakes Pass, the spot I looked at had a little bit more of a SE orientation (right below the power lines) and the facets seemed a little less loose than on more shady slopes.  

I did not note the dual crusts that were present in Days Fork and at Guardsman early in December.

Surface snow was scalloped from the wind on both east and west facing but was still soft.

South facing exit down the Emma's ridge was a mix of warming snow, old tracks and rocks.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Cracking
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Just about most red flags checked today other than heavy snowfall (unfortunately). I would check rocks too if that was an option.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

Facets capped by a new snow slab has produced widespread avalanche activity over the last few days.  This is present in many locations from lower elevations along the PC ridgeline to upper elevations in the Cottonwoods.  It was no different in areas traveled today.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Cornice
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments

West wind today was transporting snow and growing cornices and making them surprisingly sensitive.  Today I got a little too close to one above Honeycomb, which triggered an avalanche.  See corresponding avalanche observation for more details.

Comments

Dirt at 10,000 feet.

Noticed this avalanche in Days Fork too.  I didn't see it in the list but probably happened just after the Christmas storms.

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