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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 03.22.17 Name: Savage Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Horton Peak Observed Terrain:  7200-9950', all aspects Zone/Region:  Smoky & Boulder Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: 5-8cm@9500' HST: Sky: SCT Precip: Temps:
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Intermittent from the SW
 Blowing Snow: Prev Snow Available for Transport: Small amounts
 Comments: Skiff new snow starting at 7800', max of about 8cm at the top I think but hard to tell due to wind affects. Moderate winds on ridge through about 1500hrs, then seemed to decrease to light.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 1 Senate Pk area Today 1.5 WL U W alpine looked like it might have pulled out a shallow slab? Or it was a ski cut, hard to tell for sure.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS: 60-100cm on SW and S from 8000-8500'...thinner than I though it would be. Otherwise not observed.  
 Upper Pack: PP, wind shards, breakable crusts, dust on crust, dense powder, corn, ice...it's all there 
 Middle Pack: Not formally observed except on mid-elevation solars to check for water - has been wet to the ground.  
 Lower Pack: Not formally observed except on mid-elevation solars to check for water - has been wet to the ground.  
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
10-50cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Specific
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: I stomped on small features on the way up the ridge and got some cracking and little blobs to move. They were stubborn, but the larger slabs on leeward slopes may have been more sensitive. I did not mess with them as I was solo.
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Loose Wet

Layer/Depth:
5-15cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:

Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: I was able to get small WL slides moving on ~40* slopes around 5pm on SW, but in a narrow elevation band from about 8000-8800'.
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results:
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Cracking (isolated)   Length: 2m
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Good Confidence: LOW Trend:
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Upper elevations, wind slab problem had my attention in steep terrain. Wet loose problem became a concern on W-SW-S in the late afternoon from about 8000-8800'...there was more sun than forecast/expected in the afternoon. Cornices continued to grow overnight and should be avoided. Looking forward to a hard freeze overnight, but it's still very reasonable traveling (obvious hazards and good skiing/riding conditions).
FILE ATTACHMENTS

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