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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 02.20.17 Name: Davis, Patterson Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Galena Peak Observed Terrain:  7,300-9,500, S-W-N Zone/Region:  Smoky & Boulder Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: 15 cm HST: 60 cm Sky: OVC Precip: S2 Temps: n/o
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Gusty from the S
 Blowing Snow: I Snow Available for Transport: Large amounts
 Comments: Snowing S3-4 for periods before 1200, then eased to S1-2 until 1500. Swirling winds below treeline but no slab formation. Wind kicked up to a steady moderate with strong gusts above 9,000' moving lots of snow. Warmed to near freezing at Galena Lodge but remained snow at 1530. Switched to a "mix" beyond the SNRA (~6,500').
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 1 Senate Creek Today SS N S 9,000 Bad visibility. Couldn't see debris.
 3 Owl Creek Today 1 SS N 7,100 A few more SS near mouth of Owl Creek. Ran last night or this morning.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS: n/o 
 Upper Pack: 40-60 cm HST. Snow today was heavily rimed and formed a dense, 5-10 cm thick "cap". Thick, fresh wind whales up to 100 cm or so in exposed middle elevations. 
 Middle Pack:  
 Lower Pack:  
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
35-65 cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Touchy

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: Hard to put an aspect on these since we were on a ridge. Wind was primarily from the south although channeled a bit in this drainage. Did not directly observe upper elevations. Wind slabs were 4F-1F. Sitting atop F storm snow.
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Loose Dry

Layer/Depth:
30-65 cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Touchy

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: Any steep slope would have got a sizable amount of snow moving.
 Comments: Aside from the more dense "cap" of today's snow, the storm snow was fairly uniform and well bonded to (2/16).
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results:
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Cracking (isolated)    
 Comments: Cracking in fresh wind slab >9,000'
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Fair Confidence: MODERATE Trend: Worsening
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): CONSIDERABLE. Wind slabs became an immediate concern near treeline. Limited obs from this elevation. MODERATE below. Primarily concerned with Loose Dry at this elevation.
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Barring wind slabs, I felt it would take very steep slopes to get loose dry going, but once it went you'd have a meaty slide for sure.