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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 03.13.17 Name: Davis Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Gladiator Peak Observed Terrain:  7,300-10,200', S-E-W Zone/Region:  Smoky & Boulder Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: 0 HST: Sky: FEW Precip: Temps:
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Intermittent from the W
 Blowing Snow: Snow Available for Transport: Small amounts
 Comments: Lower elevations: uncomfortably hot in a t-shirt. Middle elevations: light breeze, comfortable in a t-shirt. Upper elevations: comfortable in a light thermal. Some sifting snow moving at the summit. No real loading occurring.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 5 Easley and Lightening Point Today 1 WL N 9,500' S-SW from rocks. Loose wet had moved up in elevation from previous days.
 1 Westernhome Gulch Within past week 2 SS U SE 9,200' Looked to be triggered by a sizable WL from above.
 Comments: Saw one additional slide in Westernhome Gulch (above). Got a better look at the previously noted slides in Gladiator Creek and Westernhome. It appears, (as some have already speculated) that these were triggered by WL/Roller Balls, some sort of meltwater percolation or a combination of the two and failed on (3/4). They seem similar to the ones noted by VandenBos in a previous ob from the Sawtooths.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS:  
 Upper Pack: Very wet surface snow to at least 9,500' on sunny aspects by 1400. Corn on old wind slabs skied well along middle elevation ridge. Off the ridge the snow was soupy below 9,000'. 
 Middle Pack:  
 Lower Pack:  
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Loose Wet

Layer/Depth:
10-30 cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Specific
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: Needed terrain >38* to get things moving. One ski cut produced a small wet slide that was arrested by terrain.
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
15-30 cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Isolated
Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: Wind slabs were baked on solars and well bonded. Found some fresh wind slab on a cross-loaded south aspect but it was quickly softening in the sun. Isolated cracking. Old slab over graupel in west-facing terrain off summit.
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results: Rough shears on an upper elevation west-facing slope failing on a 4 cm graupel layer.
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Cracking (isolated)   Length: 2 m
 Comments: Isolated cracking in quickly softening wind slab.
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Confidence: HIGH Trend: Worsening
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): LOW in the terrain observed. Wind slabs were not an issue and WL was small and manageable.
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Based on ski cuts near the entrance it seemed possible to trigger a size 2 WL in the SE-facing gut of Gladiator or similar terrain (>38*, funneled, south-facing) this afternoon.