Observation: Cutler Ridge

Observation Date
01/7/2018
Observer Name
Doug Wewer

Region:

Location Name or Route
Cutler Ridge
Weather
Sky
Broken
Wind Speed
Calm
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
4"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

About 4" new above about 8000'. Seemed like 1" or less at the trailhead.  I poked around a fair bit, but didn't find any snow depths deeper than about 24".  Basal snow is weak and faceted as expected. Trail breaking was moderately difficult and I sunk to the ground in many areas, gliding directly on bushes, stumps and rocks at times.  Downhill travel was easier, but the only reasonable route below about 7500' is to follow the summer trail.  

 

 

 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Skinned up Cutler to top of sub ridge just below the shoulder from 0700 to 1000 this morning. As I approached "dead tree knob", I stomped on an old wind slab with 4 inches of new snow on it. I collapsed the entire slope maybe 100 by 100 feet in size. Slope was 25° East facing at about 8000 feet elevation. That was the only piece of bull's eye data I needed for today. I kept slope angles low and avoided being below steep slopes. I did try to tickle a few other steep slopes (some of similar aspect) and stomped on a few more wind slabs, but so was unable to produce any other collapses today. I had a good view of Cutler Basin, but did not see any obvious recent avalanches.
Comments

Brush and snow cover just below weather station around 7500'.  The summer trail is faintly visible on the right side. 

Cutler Basin has continuous, thin, weak snowcover. I suspect there will be widespread avalanching as soon as we get a decent load above it. 

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