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Observation Date: 
03/4/2018
Observer Name: 
Gagne/Johnston/Flaherty/Reich
Region: 
Salt Lake
Location Name or Route: 
Gobblers (Yellow Jacket/Cabin Run)
Weather
Sky: 
Obscured
Precipitation: 
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Direction: 
Northwest
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
Winds picked up late afternoon along upper elevation ridgelines.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
22"
New Snow Density: 
Low
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

50-60 cms (20-24") of very low-density fluff. Some wind drifting at upper elevations with cracking.

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Recent Avalanches
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Loading
Red Flags Comments: 
Biggest red flag were two natural cycles (described below)
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Wind Slab
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments: 

With an abundance of light, loose snow available for transport, any bump in wind speeds will quickly create sensitive wind drifts. We were finding these today along upper elevations west aspects that were getting drifted along the top of ridgelines from w/nw winds. They were not widespread, but very sensitive.

Increasing hazard with winds forecasted to increase during the day on Monday,

Avalanche Problem #2
Type: 
Persistent Slab
Trend: 
Same
Problem #2 Comments: 

Storm snow easily totaling 1.25-1.5" in water weight plus wind drifting will quickly add stress to buried persistent weak layers.

Comments: 

Lots of small natural avalanches on our approach up through Bowman Fork. Appears there were two natural cycles - one overnight, the second beginning at about 9 am with a period of heavy snowfall. These naturals were new snow only, failing down ~20 cms (8") within storm snow. The storm snow was very low-density and any slides were not propagating very widely. As we got into larger terrain, the naturals were larger - up to class 2. These occurred in Yellow Jacket, as well as along ridgeline above Alexander Basin.

Touchy conditions in the morning, but storm snow instability settled out later in the afternoon as heavy snowfall subsided.

Cornices are getting larger along the impressive Gobblers Ridgline above Alexander Basin. 

Winds began to increase later in the afternoon out of the northwest.

Overall considerable hazard today for managing sensitive storm snow. Likely the hazard touched high during period of hi PI mid-morning.

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