11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
1/12/2018
Observer Name: 
Darce Trotter / Steve Cote
Location Name or Route: 
GE Hill
Weather
Sky: 
Overcast
Wind Direction: 
West
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
West winds have been busy, temps did not rise about freezing after Wed/Thurs storm and summit was socked in with poor vis before noon, we stayed off ridges, pockety distribution due to low overall snow, pictures turned out blue? because of rather dismal coverage and not so promising immediate future.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
6"
New Snow Density: 
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

Strengthening bridge from upper snowpack and wind packed sections still overlies demons that will be slow to heal.  Meager storms only complicate the picture, but the nagging fact remains.  We have a shallow snowpack with buried facets and persistent slabs will be harder to trigger, but step on the weak/ sweet spot, and these things could propagate huge distances.  We had three different collapses today, one that really thundered when Steve stepped onto a little more windward tiny sub ridge near some bushes, so needless to say, we stayed off and out from underneath threats, giving them a wide berth.  I was pleasantly surprised to find spongy firm conditions that made for fast fun turns on low ankle more protected areas, but with 14"-16" totals, lots of slalom gates/bushes/weeds to negotiate.  Access is still an issue especially for machines, lots of deadfall traps, rocks still exposed, etc, and getting around is limited to higher terrain and leeward sides.  

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Wind Loading
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend: 
Same
Problem #1 Comments: 

uneven snow cover, exposed brush and rocks still an issue, but the real danger is still buried with slowly strengthening bridge over the top that is unreliable.  No new activity was noted, but last storm came in warm windy and wet, and bonded well to last little storm, mostly comprising the total snow pack in a lot of areas.  High north that held snow now has deceptively strong pack over the top

Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
Cornice
Trend: 
Same
Problem #2 Comments: 

lots of transport has created the usual cornices and while not widespread, were still sensitive today 

Snow Profile
Aspect: 
Northeast
Elevation: 
9200
Slope Angle: 
33
Comments: 

40 cm at Miller Flat snowstake

visibility was poor in AM, did not have good enough camera with us to get better pics 

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