Observation: Wilson Fork

Observation Date
01/1/2018
Observer Name
Trenbeath, Hardesty, Wilson

Region:

Location Name or Route
Butler East to Wilson Fork
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Unseasonably warm, sunny day in the mountains with light, westerly ridgetop winds.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Classic mixed bag of old, tired snow with melt freeze crusts and damp snow on sun exposed slopes, wind affected snow on exposed northerly aspects, and settled dense loose and near surface facets forming on sheltered northerly aspects.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Snowpack is quite weak with widespread faceting near the ground, beneath the Christmas storm, and near the surface. Conversely, slabs are breaking down, losing their cohesion and their energy. Collapsing and cracking were isolated to wind drifts along ridge crests. We did observe an ECTP on isolation around 9500' on a northerly aspect. Failure was at 30cm in a 60cm snowpack, on facets below the Christmas storm/old snow interface. Though this weak layer remains widespread on northerly aspects, the results were isolated.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

The overall poor snowpack structure, and isolated ECT results indicate that we are not out of the woods completely, and that the danger for triggering a persistent slab avalanche still exists, primarily on upper elevation NW-N-E slopes stepper than about 35 degrees. 

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