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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 01.10.18 Name: Savage Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Baker and E Fork Baker Observed Terrain:  6800-8700', most aspects Zone/Region:  Smoky & Boulder Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: 10-15cm HST: 10-15cm Sky: FEW Precip: Temps: 20-25F
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Steady from the W
 Blowing Snow: M Snow Available for Transport: Small amounts
 Comments: Lots of previous snow transport at middle and lower elevations. Still some snow available for transport and transport was definitely ongoing, but supply is dwindling.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 3 SW Boulder Mts Today 1.5 U N SE alpine S-SE-E alpine, wind loaded pockets. There were probably more, but the wind was obliterating signs of activity in the alpine all day.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS: 70-110cm (see attached pit 7300' W) 
 Upper Pack: 20-60cm P to 1F wind slab sitting above 10cm PP in some exposed terrain, otherwise 10-15cm PP with distinct density and crystal change about half way down 
 Middle Pack: crusts and FC on solars, just FC above Thanksgiving crust on shady 
 Lower Pack: melt freeze/mixed forms/FC 
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
20-60cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Very Touchy

Spatial Distribution:
Specific
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: Very touchy where stiffer (1F or P), failing on thin layer of plate crystals mid-storm, likely during abrupt cooling overnight.
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Persistent Slab

Layer/Depth:
20-40cm sheltered

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Not Observed

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: I was mostly riding snowmobile today, hard to hear collapsing and whumphing. I did not see obvious signs of this instability but the snowpack structure and hand pits are terrible looking here.
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results: Wind loaded areas: ECTP1 or on isolation, SC, 20-40cm down, on mid-storm layer. See attached pit 7300' W for example of ECTP1. Varible results where no wind slab (mostly shady slopes without crusts either), but more ECTPX than anything.
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Cracking (isolated)   Length: 5m
 Comments: Tested for cracking by getting sled skis into several drifts, some cracking where they were stiff (photo attached). I didn't really test for collapsing as I could not hear with a helmet on, so my observations are "N/A" more than "None."

SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Confidence: LOW Trend: Steady
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): Wind-loaded slopes (most likely on E-S) at middle and lower elevations had poor to very poor stability. Sheltered slopes had fair to good stability.
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Lots of wind effect in middle and lower elevation terrain. Plumes coming off many peaks and ridges in the Smoky and Boulder Mts from 1400-1600hrs. Impressively bad stability on wind loaded slopes on mid-storm interface - hard to say if that instability will last more than a day or 2. Terrible snowpack structure (especially the upper 2 feet) in this area that should not be trusted as it continues to get loaded in the next couple weeks.
FILE ATTACHMENTS

180110_EForkBaker_W_pit.jpg
7300' W aspect, 100cm HS.

180110_EForkBaker_ECTP1_labeled.jpg
7300' W, labeled, after ECTP1, SC.

180110_EForkBaker_crack.jpg
5m crack in wind slab from sled ski, 8100' SE. Crack is 30-60cm deep.