Observation: Willows

Observation Date
01/12/2018
Observer Name
John Lemnotis

Region:

Location Name or Route
Willows
Weather
Sky
Broken
Wind Direction
Northeast
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
The wind was a major player in the game until mid day. Mostly moderate with strong gusts and we could see active transport over the ridge and into monitors. The winds died later in the day and the sky opened up from time to time for a rather nice day in the mountains.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
In wind affected areas and open ridges much of the snow from the previous storm has been transported leaving behind a stout crust. New cornices were a little stubborn and we didn't tempt any wind loads. If you were off of ridge lines below the tree line the goods were preserved.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Whumping was the norm today. We had several collapses while on our tour and the ones that were of most significance were after we had already set the skin track and would experience collapses. I believe this is a sign of the persistent weak layer we are dealing with and how unpredictable they can be. We mostly rode on SW slopes below 9800' and low slope angles, this is also where we experienced at least 5 collapses.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
The thick layer of facets from the ground is still the primary concern, although it will become more difficult to trigger these avalanches the results could be deadly. I would caution against the high north through east facing terrain as it will be a long time before this problem is resolved.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
Wind slabs from the strong NE winds over night and this morning will firm up a little but could still be problematic over the weekend. Be mindful of where cornices form, hollow feeling snow, and artificially deep snow pack areas.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
High
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates