Recreational Observation

West from Timberline, headed towards little zig zag bowl. Reaching the big moraine en route we called off that plan b/c the far side was not something I wanted to skin up. Continued to ski on low angle terrain to the East of this moraine for the remainder of the day.

Dec. 13, 2015, 10:30 a.m. PST

Weather: 26F at 10:00, relatively constant throughout. Obscured sky with occasional sucker hole. Moderate west winds with some precipitation. Accumulation of about 1" during the day. Significant wind transport ongoing, with cornice building observed.

Snowpack: General structure from top to bottom: fist storm snow ~4" atop 4F denser slab ~10" thick, atop lower density snow over a base of rounds. Light ...heavy ...light ...ground. Differences are less pronounced on West facing terrain, but easterly terrain is largely heavy wind slab atop less-dense snow. Felt like a bad enough recipe that it turned us around from our objective. Small wind slabs within the storm snow are manageable, but this seemed less predictable and likely to go stubbornly but bigger. Red flags: recent loading/storm snow, active wind loading onto E'ly aspects, natural avalanches, poor structure, and shooting cracks. I usually don't find high danger when it's forecast for the Mt Hood area, but today I agree. Expect improvement for tomorrow with settling of storm snow, but the E'ly aspects will remain red light for me until things settle significantly.

Area Description: Various moraines west of the timberline boundary between 5600-6600'. East of the little zigzag moraine.

Avalanches: Observed one small natural on an E facing slope around 6000'. Wind slab ~4" deep, 25-30" wide running down moraine wall about 20'. Appeared to be cornice triggered.

Observation by Patrick Fink

Latitude: 45.344253

Longitude: -121.720080

Did you see any avalanches? Yes

Did you trigger any avalanches? No

Was anyone caught in an Avalanche? No