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Observation: Steep Hollow

Observation Date
01/24/2018
Observer Name
kory

Region:

Location Name or Route
Steep Canyon, Hells Kitchen
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
Southwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Clear day.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
1"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

1 inch of new snow overnight.  that was a total of 6 inches since the weekend storm.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments

We were able to get decent results with ski cuts on wind slabs.  Very small though and pockety.  Easy to Avoid.

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

Still lurking.

Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
8000
Slope Angle
23
Comments

Seems as though the basal facets are starting to heal (in this location).  I was suprised at the total HS of 155cm.  We also looked at the basal facets and they are noticably rounding in this location.  We also observed no notable pit results on this layer.  CTH on the NSF from Christmas to Jan 5th but besides that we had a CTN,  ECTN18 on the NSF,  and ECTX.  We also pulled out the loop to look at those Christmas to New  Years NSF and found they were still very small and starting to round (1mm range).   With this said there I believe there are still spots where the snowpack is thinner and you might could be able to trigger a large avalanche on these persistent weak layers.  You just have to find the sweet spot now.  Won't be as in your face. We did find the Surface Hoar from last week preserved in our snowpit.  It was ~20cms below the snow surface.  We were in a very protected area out of sun and wind.  In Garden City bowls over the weekend I could not find the buried surface hoar as a melt freeze crust had formed in its location in the snowpack.  Here though on N aspect at 8000 ft we did find the surface hoar. We were unable to get the surface hoar to fail in shovel tilt tests because the new snow was still to low in density.  Not sure what the future is of this weak layer we will see.

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