Observation: Cardiff Bowl

Observation Date
01/21/2018
Observer Name
Tyler Falk

Region:

Location Name or Route
Cardiff Bowl / Patsy Trees
Weather
Sky
Obscured
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Northeast
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Tempatures over the last 48 hours temps have cooled dramaticly. Winds were blowing and transporting snow on 10k ridgelines from the N / NE. Clearing as the day went on S1 snowfall at 6 am.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
5"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments

Five inches of new snow from 5 pm on Saturday evening. Storm total for Alta was 21" with 1.08" of water which is 5% density. As normal with these type of storms that start with a southern component DV, PCMR did just as well as Alta for the first half of the storm. Then the NW flow seamed to kick in and moderate to light snow continued in LCC giving Alta the lions share as we typically expect. NRCS water numbers are around 70% of normal for the range after this last system. Height of snow in upper LCC:

             Cardiff Bowl S @ 9900 140cm 

             Twin Lakes Pass NE @ 9600: 170cm

             â€‹Twin Lakes Pass NW @ 9800: 80-140cm                                   

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Loading
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Almost all the red flags out there although a few are I guess just over 48 hours out. Just over 1" of water which was spread out over two days. My group was still getting limited cracking and whumphing Sunday. Right now a informal "Red Flag" for me is terrain with a weaker snowpack just outside the central LCC, BCC area. ( No Name, Seep Shit and Porter Fork) These three main data points for recent avalanches have all happened outside the central LCC, BCC area which has shallower snowpack. Seeing heights of snow up to 170cm in upper LCC with many test results that show no propagation. Still plenty of areas in the heart of LCC and BCC where I am sure you could get a persistent slab valanche but think that the "Scorpian" is less of a factor there now.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

Still the scary moderate problem in many places right now. Some test results were getting fractures on the old snow with high scores but did not see or hear of any propagation on those weak layers lately around upper LCC. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments

Lots of available snow for transport right now. Winds seam well behaved at the moment but have already drifted snow around the compass at the higher elevations and in channeled terrain. 

Pic. 1 Slight wind skim on SE aspect @ 9100

Pic. 2 Cracking at a steep rollover 

Pic. 3 "The Scorpion" 3mm grid

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