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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 04.08.17 Name: Davis Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Smiley Creek-> Vienna Observed Terrain:  7,200-9,225, All Zone/Region:  Smoky & Boulder Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: HST: 5-30 cm Sky: OVC Precip: S2 Temps:
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Intermittent from the W
 Blowing Snow: L Snow Available for Transport: Large amounts
 Comments: Heavy snowfall in the Baker Creek parking lot for a while this morning. Moderate to heavy snowfall over the pass and on the Stanley side until easing by 1500. Sun never came out but I felt the warmth of diffuse sun for a bit.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 3 Smiley Creek Today 1 L N SE 8,600
 5 Smiley Creek Yesterday U U 8-9,000? Debris in five or so cross-loaded NW-W facing chutes. Couldn't tell where they originated. Likely during snow/rain yesterday.
 Comments: Had a period with decent visibility and couldn't see much evidence of action. I'd suspect much of it was obscured by continued snow and wind.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS:  
 Upper Pack: 5-30 cm HST. Rained to at least 8,500'. Above that 30 cm of right-side-up storm snow. Wind affected in areas on ridges. Drifts to 45 or 50 cm.  
 Middle Pack: n/o 
 Lower Pack: n/o 
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:


Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:


Spatial Distribution:

Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: Lots of recent wind affect and cornice development but only isolated slab formation in this location. Did not directly observe true alpine.
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Cornice Fall

Layer/Depth:
45-60 cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Touchy

Spatial Distribution:

Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: Easily triggered recently formed layers of cornice.
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results: RP hand shears at new/old interface >8,500'. Snow bonded well below 8,500' with a weak (or no) refreeze of the old snow surface.
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Cracking (isolated)    
 Comments: Near/on cornices.
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Good Confidence: HIGH Trend: Improving
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): MOD at middle and LOW at lower.
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Was expecting more wind affect in this location, but slab formation was generally isolated to exposed ridges. I'd expect things to have been much different in the true alpine.