Mt. Nebo Field Study - March 5, 2019
This is just a sample of the work that goes into assessing snow stability. Utah Avalanche Center staff do this work daily through out the Winter along the Wasatch Mountains and in other regions of Utah. This observation is remarkable in that it’s a deep snow study pit with a distinct fracture occurring during testing. This will be unfamiliar for those who are not accustomed to skiing in hazardous backcountry environments.
Field Observation: Mt. Nebo, March 5, 2019
Santaquin Canyon to Nebo Loop Rd.
Source: Utah Avalanche Center
Trent Meisenheimer & Mark Staples
There remains the possibility that you can trigger a very large and destructive avalanche in the Nebo area. In places where the snowpack is greater than 200 cm the chances of triggering a slide is low. The likelihood is low, but the consequences are devastating. The other thing to consider is that over the next several days the snowpack will become more and more stressed by heavy snowfall and strong winds. This will increase the likelihood of triggering avalanches.
In repeater paths where the snowpack is less than 100 cm the likelihood is increased even more so. As seen in our snowpit profile there is a deep and strengthening snowpack. However, it's not green light just yet. Anytime, we get propagation in our snowpit tests a huge red flag goes off in our heads (see picture two). We were still finding very weak snow near the ground and in the midpack.
At this point, I would need more information or more time to get after the big runs on the Nebo massiff.