Observation: Mineral Fork

Observation Date
01/4/2018
Observer Name
CBrown

Region:

Location Name or Route
Mineral Fork
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Colder lower in the drainages. Almost no wind observed up to ~9,200', did not make it to ridgeline.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

Most of the above surface conditions observed.  Old roller balls noted on the west face above road cut ~7,000' in Mineral, at least 2 days old.  M/F skin on similar areas.  Normal SH growth that I'm used to see lower by the waterfall was minimal.  I believe it may be forming and melting away every day.  Still loose faceted "tired powder", although thin.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Very poor structure as noted everywhere in the wasatch. One big collapse today, first collapse I have observed in a number of days. No collapses yesterday in Mineral in similar terrain. Thin pack, average 30cm to 40cm between about 8,000' to 9,000'. Less in some places and below 8,000', around 60cm in few isolated areas around 9,000'.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

Not going away.  I believe some slabs are faceting out.  Still observing widespread distribution of pockety slab.

Comments

Second day traveling in Mineral Fork, saw similar things both days.  Thin faceted snow pack, ski pen to the ground in places and boot pen to ground in most places.  Still seeing pockets of slab here and there that haven't decomposed as much as other areas, some 1F+ hard slabs.  Didn't feel the need to do CT/ECT due to shallow snow pack, and I think the structure tells us enough about the problem (weak snow w/ slab on top).  Becoming lower probability, but still HIGH consequence.  

Low snow, no snow on the west aspects in Mineral Fork

Moose encountered both days in Mineral.  Very large bull, and aggressive cow with baby in mid Moonlight run today.

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