11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observation Date: 
2/7/2018
Observer Name: 
Dave Garcia
Location Name or Route: 
Laurel Highway
Weather
Sky: 
Few
Wind Direction: 
North
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
Moderate winds out of NNW west on ridges, winds were calm in mid and low elevations.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
6"
New Snow Density: 
Low
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

I suppose you would call today's snow surface powder. Pretty low density in the morning, definitely was sun affected by the afternoon and getting heavier. 

HS @ Top of Julies: 20-50cm (averaging about 40cm)

HS@ Trees skiers left of Coyote: 73cm

​HS@ Prelude: 92cm

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend: 
Same
Problem #1 Comments: 

Persistent Slab problem remains the same. The six inches of light density snow did not change much up there. Bottom line is I still don't trust our snow pack to try to ski in avalanche terrain. 

Snow Profile
Aspect: 
Northwest
Elevation: 
11200
Slope Angle: 
20
Comments: 

Sort of a quick a dirty snow pit today. No stability tests or grain types. I haven't been in the La Sals for over a week and it has been super warm. What I was most interested in looking at today was temperature gradients and if any changes were happening to the facets at the bottom of the pack. Last time I dug a pit in this area there was 13cm of uniform facets at the ground. Today's pit had 15cm of facets at the ground. Under a lense, it is easy to see some noticeable changes happening. At 6cm down to the ground there are large, advance stage facets up to 2mm. There is a distinct change at the 6cm mark. From 15cm down to 6cm the facets are about .75mm and are showing signs of sintering. The bottom of the pack has a small temperature gradient (1 degree per 40cm) which explains the sintering and smaller grain size. With all of that in mind, I still am not confident to jump into avalanche terrain. This is a long process that will take much more time and patience.   

Photo of Talking Mountain Cirque. One of the few places where there appears to be enough snow to ski. Look closely at the photo and you'll see it's looking quite pillowy and wind loaded. Wind load, plus our poor snow pack structure, plus the weight of a skier could be enough to trigger a slide. Looks nice, but I probably wouldn't go there...

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