Close
PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 03.22.18 Name: Wieland Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Titus Observed Terrain:  up to 9600' Zone/Region:  Smoky & Boulder Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: HST: 35 Sky: X Precip: S3 Temps:
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Gusty from the SE
 Blowing Snow: Prev Snow Available for Transport:
 Comments: Rain turned to snow for me around Easley hotsprings on drive up around 13:00. Appeared earlier rain line was a few hundred feet higher 7400?. Snowing and blowing entire time on the pass.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
 1 Titus Today 2 SS ASc NE 9560' Hard stomp near ridge released wind slab. Traveled 20' before triggering larger portion of slope. ~400' wide. 1.5-2' Thick.
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
1-3'

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Reactive

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: Windy on both sides of pass. Encountered huge wales entire skin up.
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Storm Slab

Layer/Depth:
3/20 interface

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Reactive

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: Sheltered terrain
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results: Just a single ski stomp. SE slopes near first bump were wind loaded but slab character was not a good one for ski cutting. Felt I would have tried a ski cut, got stuck in the middle, and then gone for a ride while trying to get out.
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Collapsing (widespread)    
 Comments: Most wind drifts near first bump were collapsing.
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Poor Confidence: Trend:
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Slow trail breaking with big wales/dunes and slabby storm snow. Didn't find any midstorm weaknesses, just the recent slabby storm resting on the previous days dry PP/DF/FC?. Wind slabs were borderline hardslabs in most areas and it was easy to pick these out when travelling through them. Otherwise, difficult to tell in some areas where the windslabs were visually as there was a few inches of storm snow on them. Based on HST amounts, kicking small test slopes, collapses, wind blowing/loading, and slabby snow on the ascent I would have avoided avalanche terrain in this area. Triggering the wind slab while on the ridge further reinforced that idea. Hopefully we get to see some of the carnage at upper elevations if the wind didn't fill things back in.