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ADVANCED OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 02.19.18
 Drainage/Route:  Soldier Mountain Cat Skiing Observed Terrain:  Wind loaded bowls and ridges Zone/Region:  Soldier Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: 6" HST: 2-3' Sky: SCT Precip: Temps:
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Steady from the NW
 Blowing Snow: I Snow Available for Transport: Small amounts
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 1 1 mi. North of Soldier Mountain Ski Area Today 2 WS N SE 8,000 Wind Loaded slope, low frequency
 2 Chute 1 Peak 2, Cat Ski Area Today 2 WS AE SE 9,000 Wind loaded chute, 2lb. bomb
 Comments: In anticipation of cat skiing trips, 2 bombs were thrown on wind loaded E facing bowls. 1 had moderate cracking, 1 released a minor wind slab that cleared out the 35-40 degree chute. Natural was observed at 0900, not witnessed, 1 mi. N of ski area base.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS:  
 Upper Pack: Due to the cold temps and winds, we are seeing faceting and instability in the upper pack, brittle new snow is skiing well but shearing easily. Not much propagation here now, except on wind loaded slabs. 
 Middle Pack: Mid-winter snow is bonding well and during stability test coming out as one congruent mass 
 Lower Pack: The December depth hoar is actually becoming stiff and difficult to break, the 5cm weak layer above it is still a concern but is bonding well in spots. Our pits are a mixed bag of full depth columns holding together and layers breaking up in solid chunks.  
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
40cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Touchy

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Where did you find this problem?
  Primary Concern Comments: 
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Deep Persistent Slab

Layer/Depth:
40-60cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Where did you find this problem?
  Problem 2 Comments: 
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results: CT 5-8 in top 40cm of new snow, ECT similar with no propagation. 1 note is the December drought layer is still there and stands out in pits, but has shown stubborness to collapse or shear in tests. 1 CT test yesterday had a collapse at ECT30, but other tests have had no results
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Fair Confidence: HIGH Trend: Improving
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): I haven't assessed our N facing terrain much, the runouts have no snow. S facing slopes are bomber with 6" of blower on them. E facing slopes are stabilizing, especially the deeper slabs. Wind loaded slopes are having small 2-4" wind slabs release
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: This cold low density snow actually bonded better than I would have expected. settling has become minimal and the deeper instabilities are improving
FILE ATTACHMENTS

IMG_0378.JPG
deep snowpack stability