Observation: Salt Lake

Observation Date
01/16/2018
Observer Name
B

Region:

Location Name or Route
Park City Ridgeline
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Overnight temperatures dipped into the mid teens, and even by 1030 temps had only risen to the low 20's at 9000. Temperatures appeared to be inverted with ridgetop temps reading around 5 to 10 degrees warmer at the same times. Winds were calm until mid afternoon when they became light and out of the WSW. Skies were clear overnight and all through the day on Tuesday.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Snow surface conditions have been becoming more variable every day. The m/f crusts continue to get thicker on the SSE, S and SSW aspects with slope angles > 25 degrees. Wind affected terrain may be found in the the upper elevation exposed terrain, and especially close to ridgelines. Of note, in areas where there was once a thin (1 to 2 inch) wind crust, these wind slabs are now breaking down significantly, and they are becoming more friendly for riding as they decompose. Widespread SH and NSF development at all elevations and aspects besides the previously mentioned southerlies. And, on many of these southerly aspects facets are developing below the m/f crust, especially at the upper elevations. 

Uphill travel is slippery both on the old existing trails as well as when breaking trail in the surface facets; yet breaking trail is much easier than attempting to climb many of the old trails. 

Of note: W and NW aspects traveled in above 9300 feet were begriming to sand box and become unsupportable in some locations. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Only two days since the last human triggered avalanche as of 1800 on Tuesday. The poor snowpack structure in place in many mid and upper elevation locations on NW, N, NE and E aspects continues to appear to be still holding a probability for large and dangerous avalanches, with a high consequence possibility. Of concern would be even a small amount of snow coming in tonight with little and or no wind as it may bury the SH and NSF's in tact.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

See above. All hasty pits indicated the slab is breaking down slightly in many locations, and along with this the basal facets appear to be still very loose and uncohesive in snowpacks with HS less than 1 meter. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Loose Dry Snow
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments

Surface sluffing was evdient on slopes with angles 35 degrees and greater, and these should be manageable as long as you are not in high consequence terrain. 

Danger appeared to ba a High Consequence Moderate.

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