Near treeline/Moon Mountain conditions

Red Flags:
Wind

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Updated:
Thursday, Apr 12, 2018 6:53 PM
Observer(s):
Aaron Hartz
Position:
Pro Ob
Location:
Broken Top Area (44.050472, -121.668477)
Ob Date/Time:
Thu, Apr 12, 2018 - 4:20 PM
Report Type:
Snow Conditions
Mode of Travel:
Snowmobile

Written Report:
I wanted to tour in the near treeline or above treeline realm today to see how the wind has been moving snow around. I attempted to tour up the south ridge on Ball Butte, but visibility was too poor. Instead, I toured up the south ridge on Moon Mountain. In protected areas, the snow was unconsolidated low density powder. There was no storm slab forming. Since the new snow was not cohesive, I could definitely see the potential for a loose dry slide in steep terrain.
Wind was light to moderate out of the west and southwest. There were some stronger gusts and blowing snow was almost constantly coming over the ridge, and moving to the east facing slope.
New cornices were forming on the wind exposed parts of the ridge. The cornices were relatively small (a few feet high and out) and they were breaking off easily under my skis. There was also some new wind slab forming up to 30cm thick. In a few place I got some cracking shooting out from my skis when I skied onto the wind slab. I triggered one small wind slab (D1; 10' wide, 6" crown). The wind slabs were found only in pockets and seemed isolated to just below ridge top.
In the wind protected areas, ski quality was great.

I measured between 20-30cm of storm snow.
Sky was overcast/obscured
Snow was falling at 1-2cm/hour
Air temp @7200ft, 11:30 was -5C (23F)