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Observation: Big Drift/Skyline Summit

Observation Date
Observer Name


Location Name or Route
Fairview Canyon to Huntington Canyon
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Wind was only somewhat existent along the most exposed ridges, otherwise fairly light.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
New Snow Density
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Snow Characteristics Comments

Storm total is about 6" since Monday.  The snowpack feels quite inverted with denser snow on the surface and very loose faceted snow underneath.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
We collapsed a number of slopes which "spider web" cracked but didn't release avalanches. We spoke with Whitney Ward with the Snow College outdoor program. His group was traveling on snowshoes and reported all the north slopes they walked on collapsed and cracked.
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Slab
Problem #1 Comments

This storm was not enough to produce a widespread natural avalanche cycle although I'm guessing there were a few natural avalanches.  Whitney confirmed one avalanche near the Wedding Ring ridge.  Nonetheless, because the storm didn't produce as expected, the avalanche danger never reached HIGH today.

The way I see this playing out is now we have about 10" of snow sitting on top of all the weak faceted sugar snow from earlier this season.  Human triggered avalanches are likely on Thursday except there really still isn't enough snow for people to get onto those slopes (especially on sleds) that are likely to avalanche.  The new snow will probably "bridge" the weak buried snow to a certain extent and we will need a more significant load before we really see things get scary.

It's a bad set up, don't let your guard down this winter.

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