Observation: East Bowl

Observation Date
01/6/2018
Observer Name
ryan c

Region:

Location Name or Route
East Bowl
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
31deg F 1at 030am at Grizzly Gulch. Snowing the whole day, less than 1cm/hr. S to SW winds blowing consistently on exposed ridges. Though snowing, it was fairly warm. Low visibility on the ridges at times.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
2"
Snow Surface Conditions
Faceted Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Southern aspects had up to 2" of new snow on a crust, making for some occasional slippery traverses. Could also feel a crust in East Bowl, which is a WNW aspect. Did not notice any crust on the ascent back up East Bowl Pass, NW aspect.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Cracking
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Most notable is the poor snowpack structure and wind. Did not get any collapses or shooting cracks. Cracking was mainly around the skis.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
We were able to easily initiate 2 wind slabs about 10cm (4") deep on the ridge of East Bowl. These ran only a few feet since they were blocked by exposed rock/trees. On exposed ridges with steep slopes, I think these could run. May not be very wide, but could entrain the loose snow on the surface. Winds should slow a bit tomorrow, then increase a bit on Monday. You could expect a moderate danger for wind slab at high elevation exposed ridges. Easily initiated in our travels, but maybe D1 in size if triggered.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments
Poor snowpack structure is still present. It seems the slab may be even less cohesive than it was last weekend. I did not get a propagation in the ECT. At about 26 to 28 taps, we had a Q3 shear about 45cm from the bottom. I think the facet layer at the bottom of the 1F slab varied in its depth: I may have a discrepancy in my snowprofile as to the depth of the facet layer at 35cm. I would like to see more snowprofiles/areas to confirm this.
Snow Profile
Aspect
Northwest
Elevation
9600
Slope Angle
15
Comments
Loose snow/sluffing in steep terrain. Was able to start sluffs at Twin Lakes Pass and in East Bowl.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates