Observation: Butler Fork

Observation Date
01/13/2018
Observer Name
mark white

Region:

Location Name or Route
Butler Fork
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
Northwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Mild temperatures with scattered clouds not much wind to speak of.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
3"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

The 3 inches of new snow seemed to be a mixture of graupel and stellars, the graupel gave it a creamy consistency, with boot deep penetration. the upper elevation, exposed ridge lines and bowls had wind crusts or some sort of wind damage from the strong wind the last two days. South facing aspects got damp and will most likely be crusted in the AM.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
We did not experience any cracking or collapsing today but I know its still going on and avalanches are still being triggered remotley. pretty warm today also but I did not note any wet activity. Snow pack structure is still highly suspect and not changing anytime soon.
Comments

Accessed Butler Fork from Mill D North, walked on the summer trail across Big Water and Soldier Fork to the Nipple. No one had been past Big Water since the storm and was expecting some collapsing on the Soldier Fork ridge line but it didn't happen, the slab has stiffened up and settled out a bit just making the hazard not so in your face but just as deadly, now you can be fooled into getting on steeper slopes because their becoming more stubborn but if you hit the sweet spot a large and deadly avalanche can occur. We were still finding the rain crust up to 9000ft and in some places the new snow had been blown away leaving only the rain crust on the surface. There was a uncomfortable lack of natural activity from the storm and many big N facing slopes are just waiting for a trigger, patience is key in this type of situation and the ankle deep snow makes low angle skiing fast and fun.

Photos: big N facing slopes that are hanging in the balance, coyote tracks that had been made before the wind and are now raised after the ridge was wind soured.

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