Observation: Snowbird periphery

Observation Date
03/6/2018
Observer Name
B

Region:

Location Name or Route
Lower Mineral Basin
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Clear skies, bitter cold in the early morning hours and appeared to not warm up as drastically as the forecast predicted. Daytime highs appeared to hit upper 20's at 9000. Winds were in the high end of the light range at the upper elevations. No transport observed.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Wind Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Superb powder riding, and the gift was riding SE, S and SW aspects before 1000 hours when the sun began to dampen the snow surface. All riding was extremely consistent and excellent. Wind damage limited to the most exposed areas in the alpine. 

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
No red flags observed in the areas traveled today, yet two drainages to the south the Major Evans incident indicates the need to be careful of recent wind loading on a preexisting poor snowpack structure.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

Major Evans and the Olympus event. Rocky, thin, steep areas NW, N, NE and SE above 9300 remain suspect, and the winds and SWE from the last event appear to be major players. 

Avalanche Problem #2
Type
Loose Wet Snow
Problem #2 Comments

Widespread activity below 8000 feet observed in the new snow. Activity above  8500 feet appeared to be limited today, yet on Wednesday the temperatures are forecast to rise significantly and the possibility will likely increase. 

Cornices are big in many locations, and the previously cited temperatures may make them sensitive over the next 72 hours. 

The storm slab sensitivities appeared to have settled out significantly on Tuesday, and 30% settlement was observed from the latest event. 

Moderate for all the problems cited above today, yet possible natural wet loose could be considered considerable during daytime heating. 

Of note, high consequence moderate for the lingering Persistent and Deep Persistent Slab Problem. 

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