Observation: Back Bowls

Observation Date
02/2/2018
Observer Name
B

Region:

Location Name or Route
Brighton Back Bowls, Figure 8, Twin Lakes
Weather
Sky
Obscured
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Skies vacillated from obscurred to overcast throughout the day. Very light snowfall, and at times it felt like it was riming lightly. Temperatures above 9200 feet were mild but cool enough to not allow the surface snow to get damp. Winds were slightly variable shifting from the WSW to W and moderate. Transport was light, yet there was drifting still going on.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
1"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Rain-Rime Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

There are still patches of soft turning in the most protected areas on the upper half of the compass. Besides these isolated zones, the riding conditions are extremely variable with a mix of rime crusts, wind board, damp spring-like snow, and old partially buried turns. Fortunately the winds and the 1/2 inch of new snow appeared to help smooth out some of the surfaces and partially erase some of the old tracks. Even a minimal amount of addtional new snow with more winds can only help improve the riding conditions. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
There may be small isolated pockets of wind slabs in the upper elevation steep NE, E and SE facing terrain due to the winds from today. The warm temperatures appeared to help keep these possible slabs stubborn and mostly unreactive. Poor snowpack structure continues to be a player in at least the shallow snowpack areas and around rocky steep terrain features. Of note, in places where the rime crust was the thickest there appears to be small grained facets below this crust.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Problem #1 Comments

The warm temperatures from the week appear to be stiffening up the slab structure and creating a more solid bridge over the mid pack and basal facets. Many steep lines are being skied, yet confidence is not yet strong/high with regard to attacking steep facing terrain on north and east facing mid and upper elevation terrain. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Wind Slab
Problem #2 Comments

See above

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