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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 03.11.17 Name: Davis Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Easley Peak Observed Terrain:  7,000-11,100, Primarily traveled on W-S Zone/Region:  Smoky & Boulder Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: 2 cm? HST: Sky: OVC Precip: Temps:
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Steady from the SW
 Blowing Snow: Snow Available for Transport: None
 Comments: In most areas there is no snow left to move without strong wind. I did find some dry "dense powder" on upper elevation, sheltered wests. Clouds moved in mid-morning and thickened by 1300. Could just make out the sun behind the clouds for the majority of the tour. Wind was only noticeable >10,500'.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 1 Galena Peak Within past week 1 E 10,100' Cornice break?
 5-10 Easley Yesterday 1 WL N 8,500'-10,100' West through south aspects. Lots of roller balls, not a lot of activity given the amount of terrain I saw.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS:  
 Upper Pack: Upper: Mix of P wind slab with thin recent 4F wind board, sastrugi. Some powder in sheltered areas. Middle: Breakable MFcr both from daytime warming and sun. Lower: 10-20 cm thick MFcr. Corn skiing on south and west in the afternoon.  
 Middle Pack: Older wind slab in exposed middle and upper. Moist rounds and DFs in sheltered areas.  
 Lower Pack: n/o 
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
10-30 cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Specific
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: A few more recent wind slabs 10-20 cm produced ski-wide cracks. Isolated at middle elevations.
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Loose Wet

Layer/Depth:
10 cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Touchy

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: Very wet snow in upper 10 cm. This problem didn't quite get going before clouds came in and left good corn.
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results:
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Cracking (isolated)    
 Comments: A couple more recent generations of wind slab. One cracking down 10 cm and the other as deep as 30 cm. Only ski width cracks.
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Good Confidence: HIGH Trend: Improving
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): MODERATE at upper. LOW at middle and lower. Would have bumped to MODERATE at middle and lower without afternoon clouds.
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Wind slab problem was borderline unreactive in the terrain I observed. I would have skied most places on Easley today although I didn't travel on norths or the more heavily loaded easts. Snow is still cold >10,500' even on steep due south. More sun and warmer temperatures may erase this tomorrow and I'd expect LW to eclipse wind slab as the primary concern.