Close
PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 03.06.17 Name: Davis Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Peak 2 Observed Terrain:  5,700-8,600', All aspects Zone/Region:  Soldier Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: HST: 5-20 cm Sky: BKN Precip: S-1 Temps: 15 F
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Gusty from the W
 Blowing Snow: M Snow Available for Transport: Small amounts
 Comments: Clouds rolled in around 1100. Squalls of graupel and S-1 followed through 1500. Moderate wind with periods of strong. Extreme gusts. Wind eased noticeably after 1200. Moderate snow transport at upper and exposed middle elevations.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 Comments: Debris piles in east-facing bowls below Peak 2. No visible crowns. Seems likely that they were cornice failures but with the amount of recent loading in this location it wouldn't surprise me if they pulled out small slabs that have completely blown in. Also saw small cornice breaks west of Bellevue and just north of Fairfield. Decent visibility with binos and no other slabs to be seen.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS:  
 Upper Pack: Only 5 cm settled storm snow at lower elevations. This bumped up quickly at middle and upper elevations to ~20 cm. Stout 3 cm rain crust under HST on steep souths. HST was well bonded at the interface but I found planar shears on DF's about 5 cm above the crust. 4F-1F Slabs 10-50 cm thick lee to WSW-W-WNW winds.  
 Middle Pack:  
 Lower Pack:  
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
10-50 cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Specific
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: Several generations of wind slab. Fresh slab (5-10 cm) was touchy. Older generations (3/3-3/5) were healing but popped out with moderate force in hand shears revealing planar interfaces.
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results:
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Confidence: HIGH Trend: Steady
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): Pushing CONSIDERABLE this a.m. at upper. MODERATE at middle, LOW at lower. Likely some very small wind slabs at lower elevations in the foothills north of Fairfield. No avalanche problems at middle or lower without wind affect.
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: A large amount of wind affect over the last 3 days. I bailed on the summit ridge to Peak 2 due to flat light and challenging riding conditions over drifts. Fresh, sensitive slabs were generally small with little snow left to move. Older wind slabs were healing but I wouldn't rule out triggering a deeper layer on very steep slopes.