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Observation Date: 
03/19/2018
Observer Name: 
Toddeo
Region: 
Southwest
Location Name or Route: 
Pahvants - Maple Hollow
Weather
Sky: 
Clear
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Weather Comments: 
Calm warm day
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth: 
10"
New Snow Density: 
High
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Powder
Dense Loose
Snow Characteristics Comments: 

An additional 2" of Graupel fell after I left the area yesterday.  Some wind affected snow on an exposed north facing ridge line that separates north from west facing aspects.

On west aspects below 8,500', my max today, the snow was well bonded to a pencil hard crust up to 10" thick.  No sluffing or movement on 40 degree rollovers.  The dense snow helped prevent bottom feeding and held up well to the sun/warmth.

Some soft wind slabs on the ridge up to 12" thick.

Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments: 
Wind loading is a new red flag, due to the soft wind slabs up to 12" which broke easy on pole columns. The poor snowpack structure is related to basal facets which are still hanging around. I did not venture onto north aspects today except to pole probe, but assume they still exist. I am still treating Norths with caution. The basal facets I looked at on west aspects were damp and looked like they have been damp for awhile (photo below). they were still loose (fist).
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Persistent Slab
Trend: 
Same
Problem #1 Comments: 

I treated upper elevations norths as they have considerable hazard, not taking any chances.

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

Not a real widespread issue but worth mentioning.

Snow Profile
Aspect: 
Northwest
Elevation: 
8000
Comments: 

HS = 26"

10" sitting on top of a 10" thick pencil hard crust.  Underlain by 6" of loose wet facets or forms formally known as facets.

Photos below:

1. Wet facets

2 & 3. Graupel surface, there is also some facets which do not show up well.

 

Photos below:

1. Terrain at 8,200'.  I avoided the slope on lookers left, this slope is a bit over 35 degrees and has facets at the base of the snow pack similar to what is being reported at skyline.  The last two winters I was able to ski this slope at will by this time of the year.  This year I am not going near it right now.

2.  Todays terrain, new snow over a solid crust, a safer alternative.

3. Trailhead conditions, yesterday we were skiing on this road.

I would call The hazard in the NW facing terrain, where underlain by the solid crust moderate.

I would call the hazard considerable on steep north facing slopes above 8,000'.

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