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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 01.27.18 Name: Wieland Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Couch Summit to Skunk Ck Observed Terrain:  6000-8300' Zone/Region:  Soldier Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: HST: 6-15cm Sky: X Precip: S-1 Temps:
 Ridgeline Wind:
 Blowing Snow: Snow Available for Transport:
 Comments: Snowing very lightly all day. Did not get into any windy terrain. Visibility in and out above 7500' all day.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
None Reported
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS: 30-155cm. Large range when covering zone from south->north. Northern portion of zone more like Smokys snowpack. 35cm on flat at Big Smoky.  
 Upper Pack: see attached pits. Pit on N on Salt Bowns at 7000' had two prominent crusts with FC b/w and below. PP near surface. Weak snow other than crusts in pit. Same weak snow with 3 crusts found in a 40cm snowpack on a west slope at Couch Summit.  
 Middle Pack:  
 Lower Pack:  
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Persistent Slab

Layer/Depth:
40-60cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: See pits but structure in northern portion of zone similar to Smokys. Southern portion had weak FC but lacked any slab in non-windloaded terrain.
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:


Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:


Spatial Distribution:

Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: Likely a problem, but did not get into any wind exposed terrain.
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results: see pits
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Confidence: Trend:
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Northern Soldier Zone: Snowpack very similar to Smoky zone where moderate snow amounts fall. All hard test scores with a few pits with propagation. SH was present in one W facing pit, but did not get a handle on distribution and no slab was found over it. Did not get into any terrain with a decent snowpack in southern portion of zone. Very low snow cover leaving parking lot up to Couch Summit and heading ~2 miles west on Salt Bowns. ~40cm on W at couch and 65cm on N @ 7000' just west of couch. North facing snow was weak with a few crusts and not inspiring to ride off trail. Needs at least another decent 12" storm to open up more riding in southern part of zone but even then would need to tread lightly due to cover.
FILE ATTACHMENTS

OP Creek Pit.pdf
SW aspect nearby very similar to layering in this pit. Harder test results on the SW with ECTP28 on same FC layer.

Skunk Ck Pit.pdf