11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
1/20/2018
Observer Name: 
Derek DeBruin
Location Name or Route: 
Cutler Ridge
Weather
Sky: 
Overcast
Precipitation: 
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction: 
Northeast
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
S- to S1 snowfall on and off throughout the day, with snowfall increasing into the afternoon. Winds were generally light and increased with increasing elevation. Uncharacteristic for Ben Lomond, the winds were moderate at the saddle with minimal wind effect, little wind crusting, no fresh wind slabs noted for the moment. Temps were in the 20s F, in the teens at the saddle. Generally a pleasant storm day, with good turns from the saddle to the LZ.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
7"
New Snow Density: 
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

Dust on crust powder skiing. Snow was a bit lighter than I expected, not blower by any means, but cetainly still powder. Seems to be bonding pretty well to the underlying crust; occasional moments on the skin track when sidehilling saw some slipping on the crust below and a turn would occasionally scrape to the crust, but in general decent bonding and good riding conditions.

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Loose Dry Snow
Problem #1 Comments: 

Plenty of opportunities for sluffing today, but didn't note any avalanches while we were out and didn't cause anything noteworthy to happen while we were skiing.

Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
Persistent Weak Layer
Problem #2 Comments: 

The new "ground level" on the crust seems to be supportive, but a large storm load could make it more reactive. Below the crust it's definitely a junk show and worth it to pay attention.

Snow Profile
Aspect: 
Northwest
Elevation: 
7800
Slope Angle: 
20
Comments: 

We dug atop Dead Tree Knob before heading into the steeper terrain. The pit didn't seem to be quite representative of the rest of the snow based on hand pits and other informal tests. The 85 to 72cm layer seemed to be more old snow than fell after the last rain and had some softer snow beneath it, atop the crust. I suspect there may have been some wind effect that packed the snow in a bit harder onto the crust there. Otherwise, the profile is pretty representative. Depth hoar, a number of deteriorating crusts and loose snow above, thick rain crust, and new snow at the top.

Chris with blocks of the thick crust.

Not the best photo, but noted no new avalanche activity. Everything along the headwall appears to be the same older slides that Doug Wewer posted last week.

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