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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 12.12.18 Name: VandenBos - OFF DUTY Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Galena Peak Observed Terrain:  western half of the compass to 10,000' Zone/Region:  Smoky & Boulder Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: HST: 15cm Sky: Precip: Temps:
 Ridgeline Wind:
 Blowing Snow: Snow Available for Transport:
 Comments: Afternoon WX obs. Snowing S-1 to S1 from 1500-1600, decreasing clouds through sunset. Still a good bit of snow available for transport if the wind gets cranking.
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
None Reported
 Comments: Observed a ~30' wide slab that failed beneath a cornice on SE facing slope above Senate Cr. at ~9,500' but poor visibility and then darkness prevented me from seeing much of anything at all.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS:  
 Upper Pack: 15cm new snow 
 Middle Pack: 20-30 cm FC from snow that fell around and after thanksgiving 
 Lower Pack: 15-20 cm DH on sheltered, shady aspects above ~9,000' 
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Persistent Slab

Layer/Depth:


Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:


Spatial Distribution:

Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: 11/22 DH
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Persistent Slab

Layer/Depth:


Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:


Spatial Distribution:

Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: 12/12 FC (post thanksgiving snow)
 Comments: Without more evidence both 11/22 and 12/12 are equally concerning. With such a weak snowpack, anything failing above the DH is probably going to gouge down through the DH anyway so it doesn't matter too much, just an issue of which interface is more reactive.
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results:
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Cracking (widespread)    
 Collapsing (widespread)    
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Poor Confidence: Trend:
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): A meaty considerable, though with a more continously distributed pre-storm snowpack or a few more tenths of water it wouldn't be hard to call this high.
FILE ATTACHMENTS

181212_GalenaCracking.JPG

181212_SenateSlab.JPG