Observation: Mill Hollow

Observation Date
03/4/2018
Observer Name
Bo Torrey and Ian Nelson

Region:

Location Name or Route
Mill Hollow
Weather
Sky
Obscured
Precipitation
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Direction
Northwest
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Our much anticipated storm finally arrived last night. Nobletts parking lot received about 6" by 11:00am. Higher up in Mill Hollow area we found 8" to 10" of low density snow. It was piling up fast. Heavy snowfall and strong winds. White out riding conditions in upper Mill Hollow
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
10"
New Snow Density
Low
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments
Storm snow was low density. Riding conditions were decent. You could feel tracks and firmer snow underneath while riding. Heavy snowfall and strong winds limited our visibility and made for difficult whiteout riding conditions.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Loading
Cracking
Red Flags Comments
Strong winds easily transported the low density snow. We found wind drifts 3 ft. deep in exposed areas.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Wind Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
Low density snow and strong winds are the perfect ingredients for forming wind slabs. Even on lower elevation slopes were the wind was less strong we still found wind drifts 1' to 3' feet deep. Wind sheltered, treed terrain offered the best visibility and best riding conditions today.
Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
Each time it snows the likelihood of triggering a avalanche that breaks into old snow rises. Recent heavy snowfall and strong winds are adding significant weight to our snowpack. We were not able to get failure on one of the deeply buried weak layers within 30 taps, however giving the column a few extra taps did produce failure on the deeper buried weak layers. On storm days, or the first clear day after the storm moves out, I stick to lower angle slopes to get a feel for the snow. I'll ride on small tests slopes to see how the snow reacts to the weight of me and my machine. I try to notice if the snow is cracking or breaking off as one big piece. It's quick and easy and I can usually do this on my ride out just by sidehilling on the road banks.
Snow Profile
Aspect
North
Elevation
10000
Slope Angle
19
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates