Observation: Whitney Basin

Observation Date: 
01/24/2018
Observer Name: 
jg
Region: 
Uintas
Location Name or Route: 
Weber Canyon
Weather
Sky: 
Scattered
Wind Speed: 
Moderate
Weather Comments: 
Warm in the sun earlier in the day before the clouds started streaming in. Winds started cranking mid afternoon from the west south west loading the lee slopes but wind slabs were shallow and soft and not abundant.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions: 
Dense Loose
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Damp
Red Flags
Red Flags: 
Wind Loading
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Type: 
Wind Slab
Trend: 
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments: 

Wind slabs were small, shallow and soft but the winds were just starting to crank. Increasing danger with prefrontal winds.

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

Increasing danger in wind zone and with the possibility of additional water weight from next storm but it doesn't look like much water is going to be added to the snow pack.

Snow Profile
Aspect: 
North
Elevation: 
9800
Slope Angle: 
30
Comments: 

Pit profile on upper elevation east face and results of ECT.

Traveled from 7400 ft - 10,200 ft. on the north half of the compass. Still very thin cover at lower elevations below about 8800 ft. Found a mostly stable snow pack with no cracking or collapsing and no progagation or hard effort to fail on ECT's. The newest storm snow seems pretty relaxed right now. Winds picked up mid day and were transporting snow but not much in the way of new wind slab development. Noticed rounding and chaining of some facets but the snow pack structure is not ideal and persistent slab avalanches continue to be of concern, although they are probably getting a bit harder to trigger right now. Consequences are pretty high if you do trigger one though.

Pit tests reflect that the shallow snow pack areas like the east facing slope i dug in show more of a propensity to propagate a fracture than the deeper north facing slopes.

Low to moderate danger where I traveled today. Most likely the same tomorrow unless you're traveling in the wind zone.

Today's Observed Danger Rating: 
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating: 
Moderate