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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 12.02.17 End Date: 12.02.17
 Drainage/Route:  Fishhook and Bench Huts Observed Terrain:  6000'-900' Zone/Region:  Sawtooth Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: HST: 40cm Sky: Precip: Temps:
 Ridgeline Wind:
 Blowing Snow: Snow Available for Transport: Large amounts
 Comments: We were up at Fishhook and Bench Hut for the weekend storm and observed 25cm HST at Fishhook and 30cm at Bench Hut. 35-40cm HST in the lakes basin above the Bench Hut.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 1 Dave Dog Peak Within past week 1 L N E 9000 Dry loose point release on steep slope
 Comments: Visually scanned a lot of terrain in the Sawtooth and observed little to no natural avalanche activity. There were a few D2 dry loose avalanches observed in the Monolith basin on steep slopes below cliff bands that were partially buried and probably ran mid-storm.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS: 130 @ 8700' East Bench lakes Basin 
 Upper Pack: 35cm new snow (F)  
 Middle Pack: 5cm Facets on stout rain crust 
 Lower Pack: Dense lower pack of P-K rounds and crusts. More solar aspects had more pronounced buried crusts. No results in tests on the lower pack buried crusts. 
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Dry Loose

Layer/Depth:
30-40cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Specific
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: Isolated to steeper slopes >38
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
15-30+cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Specific
Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: Found mid slope wind slab in places on north-east sub alpine terrain
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results: Multiple large (ECT) and small column tests performed and no propagation on ECT's and only broken fractures observed on small column tests. Lower pack on more solar aspects with pronounced crusts produced clean shears on non-standard tests.
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Cracking (isolated)   Length: 40cm
 Comments: Only cracking observed on isolated wind slabs in specific locations.
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Good Confidence: HIGH Trend: Improving
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): Dry loose in steep terrain was the primary hazard observed. Suspect wind slab to be a player in higher elevation and exposed slopes, but did not directly observe this problem in terrain skied.
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Generally good stability observed in the Sawtooth. It;s still early season conditions with a thin snow pack at all elevations below 7000' and greatly improving in depth above 8000'. Skiability is generally good to very good above 8000' with dry powder on top of supportable rain crust and lower pack.
FILE ATTACHMENTS

IMG_5245.jpg
Powder skiing above Bench Hut 12/4/17