Observation: Bald Mountain

Observation Date
01/15/2018
Observer Name
jg

Region:

Location Name or Route
Bald/Reid Area
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
Northwest
Weather Comments
Mild temps. Wind didn't seem to be transporting much snow.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

Surface hoar and near surface faceting were widespread in the area traveled. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Cracking and collapsing were minimal and not much of a red flag. The poor snowwpack strtucture was the biggest red flag.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

Nothing new to talk about in this department.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Snow Profile
Aspect
Northwest
Elevation
10300
Slope Angle
Unknown
Comments

I was expecting to see more signs of instability but didn't see much. No old slides observed. This small test slope was really the only sign I noted in my travels today. 

Melt freeze crust about 66cms (26") down. Small grain facets above crust and large (2-3mm) grains below. 

Cruised around in the alpine today and found about 3 to 4 feet of total snow. Still lots of rocks but the terrain is starting to fill in. As usual for the Uintas, saw lot of signs of wind with many slopes blown bare down to rock. I was a bit surprised to not see signs of recent avalanches. Sleds have been high pointing on the north aspect of Murdock Mountain with no "results".

My snow stability tests varied as to where they failed but CT's and ECT's were failing with moderate effort and fairly clean shears. Failures in tests were within and just below the Christmas storm, as well as deeper in the pack in the well developed large grain facets. I feel like the conditions are getting a little trickier now that the upper portion of the pack has become more cohesive. The fact of the matter is that we have poor snowpack structure but it feels pretty good underneathyou.  When you're traveling around and the snow "feels" good and you don't see much in the way of instabilities, it's easy to get into a position where you are more exposed and all it takes is finding that trigger point to collapse the slope.

I still think the avalanche danger is considerable on steep slopes facing the north half of the compass especially in the wind zone and in areas where the snowpack is shallower. High consequence scenario with slides most likely taking out most of the season's snow and having to take a ride over rock, stumps and downed trees. 

 

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