Observation: Laurel Highway

Observation Date
03/1/2018
Observer Name
Hardesty

Region:

Location Name or Route
Laurel Highway and North Woods
Weather
Sky
Overcast
Wind Direction
South
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
See video below
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

A fair bit of wind and sun damage with soft settled powder in the protected areas. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
One small collapse and crack in a small wind loaded zone at NE at 10,100'. HS there was just 40cm; very poor stucture photo below. One small natural wind pocket down in the east face choke above the cliffbands of Tuk. Pic below.
Snow Profile
Aspect
Northeast
Elevation
11200
Slope Angle
25
Video

Upper elevations and above treeline extremely wind damaged with areas of stubborn hard wind slab in steep drifted terrain.  

Protected mid-elevations host a poor structure with both thin mid-pack layer of faceted grains and the facets and depth hoar in the basement.  This layering seems mostly dormant except where wind loading and another trigger (person, cornice, another superficial or new snow avalanche) is able to pry out this persistent slab avalanche.  

Protected mid and low elevation snow surfaces host weak surface snow above a crust and will result in poor bonding with additional snow and wind.  

We will keep an eye on how this weekend's storm plays out.  

UAC La Sals/Abajos forecaster Eric Trenbeath and I are on a short exchange through Sunday.  He'll be taking my shifts in the UAC - Salt Lake office this weekend.  I'll have forecasts up for the La Sals tomorrow/Friday through Sunday and for the Abajos on Saturday and Sunday. 

If anything needs my attention or if there are pertinent snow, weather, or avalanche observations, please submit an observation or email or call me directly: drew@utahavalanchecenter.org or 801.842.8519 

Thanks - Drew Hardesty

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