Close
PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 12.26.18 Name: Savage Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Warm Springs Ck - Baldy OB north side Observed Terrain:  several, focused on shady above 8700' Zone/Region:  Wood River Valley
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: 0 HST: 0 Sky: SCT Precip: Temps: teens F
 Ridgeline Wind: Calm
 Blowing Snow: Snow Available for Transport: Small amounts
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
None Reported
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS: above 8700' shady: 40-50cm where wind-loaded and 35-40cm where sheltered 7000-7500': ~30cm 
 Upper Pack: DF and FC/mixed forms with some degrading wind crusts: lower elevations and sheltered upper have no crusts and more faceting 
 Middle Pack: transition from recent snow (DF and FC) to snow from before 12/11 (FC/DH), thin crust at 12/11 interface in places 
 Lower Pack: DH and FC (all snow from Thanksgiving on - no early season snow, 11/22 layer doesn't exist here) 
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Persistent Slab

Layer/Depth:
several, to ground

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Unreactive

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: No slab.
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results: ECTN, moderate, depth hoar in bottom third of snowpack
PSTsf 15/100, 28cm
PSTsf 50/100, 18cm
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Collapsing (isolated) Depth: unknown Length: 1m
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Good Confidence: HIGH Trend:
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): The only concern at this location would have been slopes with recent wind-loading, and I did not see any recent drifting in the limited terrain I traveled in.
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: The snowpack has some structural differences/layering that wasn't there a couple weeks ago. Instead of a "house of facets", there are some marginally stiffer, degrading wind crusts in the snowpack. From my experience, this could make things worse when it does eventually snow. While snowpacks consisting of entirely faceted crystals are both ugly and scary, snowpacks with facets/depth hoar interspersed with slightly stiffer layers generally behave worse when loaded.
FILE ATTACHMENTS

181226_BaldyOB_NW8900.jpg
Snowpit 8900', W-NW aspect, in area that gets some wind.

181226_BaldyOB_8900WNW_pit.jpg
Pit showing weak crusts interspersed with facets and depth hoar (and some window dressing DF at the very top).