Observation: Sundance backcountry

Observation Date
01/29/2018
Observer Name
Evelyn

Region:

Location Name or Route
Sundance backcountry
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Bluebird morning, with increasing high thin clouds by early afternoon.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Faceted Loose
Rain-Rime Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Surface snow faceting rapidly, capped with surface hoar on the shady slopes.  Only a whisper of the rime crust, but not everywhere, and it will degrade within a day or two.  Sunny slopes became damp, will be crusted tomorrow.  In a few spots, the snow was scoured down to the rain crust.

Rain crust is supportable, keeping you off the ground.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Three layers of concern for the next loading: the weakening surface snow, the layer of facets above the January rain/ice crust, and the basal facets. Just waiting for a slab. Assume at the higher elevations, there is more of a slab, from either more snow or wind loading.
Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
8100
Slope Angle
23
Comments

The ice crust from Jan 9/10 is slowly weakening.  The rest of the snowpack is mainly faceted.  This spot was probably slightly deeper than average for this elevation.

Photos below:  Surface hoar, snow up high on Timp, but dry at the sunny, lower elevations.  Access to the upper elevations continues to be difficult.

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