Observation: Wolverine Cirque

Observation Date
01/9/2018
Observer Name
Sean Burkhart

Region:

Location Name or Route
Patsey Marley/ Wolverine Cirque
Weather
Sky
Obscured
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Light to moderate snowfall combined with obscured skies made for some flat light and on and off visibility today. Moderate winds from the SW were moving snow all day. 1 to 3 foot baby cornices forming on the east to north facing chutes in the cirque.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
4"
New Snow Density
High
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
Damp snow falling at the base of Brighton at 12:00pm with snow slightly less heavy falling above 9500'. Snow/Rain line was somewhere around 8500' and by 2:30pm there was 4 to 5 inches of damp new snow. Pinwheels started rolling on steeper slopes (35 to 38 degrees).
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Cracking
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Would not want to be messing around on slopes much steeper than 30 degrees right now. Poor snowpack structure and lots of moisture with this new snow should make things more dangerous over the next few days, along with the snow we are expecting for the region. Walked around Wolverine Cirque to see what was going on and noticed small cornices forming on N to E facing slopes. They cracked easily but don't have enough mass yet to disrupt the snowpack just yet from what I was seeing. Something to keep an eye on moving forward though. All in all todays danger was considerable on steeper slopes and will be increasing in the next few days depending on snow accumulations and wind transport. Still boat loads of fun to be had on lower angle, safer terrain.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
Moderate winds moving even the new dense snow received today.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
Persistent weak layers still lurking all throughout the Wasatch and will be even more sensitive with the added weight of the new snowfall.
Photos from NE facing aspects of the Cirque
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates