11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
2/5/2018
Observer Name: 
mark white
Location Name or Route: 
Reynolds Peak
Weather
Sky: 
Broken
Precipitation: 
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction: 
West
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
Broken skies with peeks of sun in the pm, only thing falling from the sky was graupel, heavy for short periods of time in the am, not much wind down in the drainage but moderate winds from the W on the peak.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
1"
New Snow Density: 
High
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Rain-Rime Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

Lower angle slopes that had been smoothed out by the constant winds this week skied well with the new coat of graupel, slopes that did not get smoothed out where a mixed bag of old tracks, some remnants of rime crust and wind crust. Down lower in the drainage the snow pack is saturated and damp throughout the whole pack, not cold enough for a melt-Freeze crust no decent refreezes in the last bunch of days.

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Poor Snowpack Structure
Comments: 

I was curious to what a week plus of spring like temperatures with not much of a refreeze has done to the snow pack at 9422ft and below. The first pit I dug was on a NE facing slope at 8300ft, you can still see the layering but the snow pack was saturated, you could easily make a snowball out of the facets at the bottom and if it ever gets cold again the pack should freeze up solid as should the weak layers. Next pit was at 9300ft N facing on the back side of Reynolds peak, the weak layers where not as dramatically damp as the ones at lower elevations but they were in fact damp all the way down to the ground interface, with continued spring like temperatures in the forecast for the next week I would expect healing of the weak layers at 9400ft and below to continue with the facets sintering and then the pack locking up if it decides to get cold again. Wet slabs seem possible also with free water moving down through the pack and into the faceted snow at mid and lower elevations. Upper elevations still have a suspect snow structure and should be treated with respect.

Photos: the first photo is of the pit at 9200ft the next is me holding the factes from the weak layers, then finally squeezing them together to show that they are damp. next is the pit at 8300ft where the whole pack is saturated, then finally the coating of graupel that made skiing bearable today.

Thinking low for most terrain, moderate in high elevation steep rocky terrain.

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