A maintenance window is scheduled for Saturday, May 26th from 10am - 5pm MT during which the site may be unavailable.

Observation: Big Drift/Skyline Summit

Observation Date
01/10/2018
Observer Name
Kobernik-Kendall

Region:

Location Name or Route
Fairview Canyon to Huntington Canyon
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Northwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Wind was only somewhat existent along the most exposed ridges, otherwise fairly light.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
6"
New Snow Density
High
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
Cracking
Collapsing
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
Type
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
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates