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PROFESSIONAL OBSERVATION FORM
 Start Date: 01.09.19 Name: Savage Operation: SAC
 Drainage/Route:  Baker Ck (Baker-Brodie divide) Observed Terrain:  6800-9200', several aspects lower elevation, SW-S-SE-E middle elevations Zone/Region:  Smoky & Boulder Mountains
WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
 HN24: 5cm HST: 5cm Sky: X Precip: S1 Temps: near 30F
 Ridgeline Wind: Moderate and Intermittent from the SW
 Blowing Snow: L Snow Available for Transport: Small amounts
 Comments: Winds previously moved a fair amount of snow in this area. Not much snow blowing today: dense new snow and the solars had a razor-1cm thick crust from yesterday. It was snowing S1-2 while we were there (13000-1530).
AVALANCHE OBSERVATIONS
 No. Location Date Size Type Trigger Aspect Elevation Comments
  Baker Ck Within past week 1 SS U W 7000 Short, steep, rocky little path around Buccal (frequent runner) had debris that stopped above the creek.
 Comments: Poor visibility prevented seeing much of the terrain around/above Baker Lake. Peaks were obscured.
SNOWPACK OBSERVATIONS
 HS: 50-100cm: slopes not scoured or wind loaded were typically 60-80cm 
 Upper Pack: 5cm new snow from today, then razor-1cm crust from yesterday on SW-S-S/SE, then 20-30cm recent storm snow 
 Middle Pack: crusts and facets: significantly more crusts below ~8500' and larger+drier+weaker FC above ~8500' 
 Lower Pack: crusts and FC 
AVALANCHE PROBLEM ASSESSMENT
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Persistent Slab

Layer/Depth:
1/5: 25-35cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Not Observed

Spatial Distribution:
Widespread
Terrain
  Primary Concern Comments: 
 
Avalanche Characteristics
Character/Avalanche Problem:
Wind Slab

Layer/Depth:
20-40cm

Likelihood of Triggering
Sensitivity:
Stubborn

Spatial Distribution:
Isolated
Terrain
  Problem 2 Comments: Stomped on a couple drifts where it was safe, no cracking or getting them to move. Stiff and hard slabs, but very isolated.
 Comments: Mid-pack structure is terrible on more sun exposed, middle-elevation slopes here. We avoided all avalanche terrain with those aspects/structure. Lower elevations lacked a slab or as much structure, and the persistent slab problem isn't a big issue (yet).
STABILITY TESTS
 Stability Test Results: 8800' E/SE: 2 x ECTP2, SP, about halfway down the column (see photo)
8300' SE: mix of easy and moderate ECTP and ECTN, hard to tell exactly which mid-pack crust+facet layers were failing in stability tests
OBVIOUS SIGNS OF INSTABILITY
 Marked with checkmark if observed:
 Cracking (isolated)   Length: 1m
 Collapsing (widespread) Depth: 25-35 Length: >40m
 Comments: Frequent collapses with some rippling off into the distance on SW-S-SE-E/SE slopes. Impressive.
SNOW STABILITY
 Snow Stability Rating for your observed area: Poor Confidence: MODERATE Trend:
 Comments (aspects and elevations of instability, etc): Stability rating is for middle elevation solars. At lower elevations, snowpack is weak but lacking a slab or much structure - stability is better there. We did not evaluate shady middle elevation slopes.
BOTTOM LINE
 Comments: Impressive amount of collapsing from 8200-9200' - so frequent that it became expected on all SW-S-SE-E/SE aspects where the snowpack was about 30-80cm deep. When you add that to the ugly structure and terrible stability test results, we did not consider skiing or riding in avalanche terrain where we were today.
FILE ATTACHMENTS

190109_Baker_8800E-SE_pit_crusts_labeled_SS.jpg
Snowpit at 8800' E/SE showing poor structure.

190109_Baker_8300SE_pit_crusts_labeled_SS.jpg
Snowpit at 8300' SE showing a mess of crusts and facets in the middle and lower pack.