Observation: Tuscarora

Observation Date
01/16/2018
Observer Name
Sean Burkhart

Region:

Location Name or Route
Mt. Tuscarora
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Clear skies and sunny today made for a lovely bluebird day in the mountains.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
Surface Hoar scattered throughout the area including Twin Lakes Pass, Patsey Marly, Wolverine Cirque and Mt. Tuscarora. Something to keep in the back of our minds moving forward as we are expecting snow this weekend. Upside down snowpack very apparent with simple on the go pole probing tests. Obvious signs of wind loading on the steeper northerly aspects of Tuscarora. Unsurprisingly, they haven't been ridden yet. No lines in Wolverine Cirque yet either (with an exception being the most westerly facing chute closest to Mt. Millicent). Signs of wind loading and many of the ridable chutes likely waiting for a trigger in both zones. N face of Wolverine had a mellow crust that had formed likely due to the greenhouse effect mentioned in the forecast yesterday by Evelyn. Most N facing slopes providing some fast glide, making lower angle turns very fun. Unsheltered aspects crusty or damp.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Cracking
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Surprisingly the only recent avalanches observed in the area have been artillery triggered slides off of Hwy to Heaven traverse from 8 days ago. SW winds during the storm piled snow on N to E aspects and steeper lines in these aspects likely waiting for a trigger. Small cornices cracking on NE facing slope with some effort, but with the exception of a couple cornices sighted today, most of them don't have enough mass to disrupt the snowpack below.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
Although the sensitivity has diminished, there is still a poor snowpack structure in most areas and the size of the problem still stays the same. No major cracking or collapsing but based on other peoples observations of recent avalanches, there were likely slopes all around just waiting for a trigger.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wet Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments
Wind slabs on unskieed N to NE facing slopes lurking from last weeks storm approx. 1 to 3 ft. deep.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Snow Profile Coordinates