Observation: Cutler Ridge

Observation Date
01/11/2018
Observer Name
Derek DeBruin, Ben, Jamie

Region:

Location Name or Route
Fern Gully, Cutler Ridge, Ben Lomond
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Northwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
31F at the car around 1230, low to mid 20sF at 7300ft where we stopped to dig. S- to S1 with increasingly cloudy skies and increasing winds throughout the afternoon.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
1"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Creamy turns--some blown precip and graupel made for dust on crust at mid elevation. At lower elevations, largely just crusty junk.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Rain and the subsequent snow did interesting things to the snowpack, those hazard was perhaps moderate for the areas we ventured.
Snow Profile
Aspect
Northeast
Elevation
7300
Slope Angle
17
Comments

At the middle elevations, water made it's way through the entire snowpack from the rain event.  The basal ice layer remains with CT and ECT failing on isolation or at the basal ice layer or on the ground (basal ice is not present in some spots near vegetation, etc.). However, near the top of the snowpack the rain has frozen in and seems to be bridging well. The ice is 10 to 15cm thick, with the center quite hard (K) with additional somewhat softer ice (P) above and below.  Below this is moist rounding snow with a pile of facets at the bottom on the basal ice. Interested to see how this sets up with temps the next few days. With hard enough freezing, the upper ice layer could reset "ground level," while providing a new and exciting bed surface with facets and graupel on top. There's plenty of moisture in the snowpack below, so wouldn't be surprised to see faceting on both sides of the ice crust.

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