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Avalanche: Dry Fork of AF

Observer Name
Ian Nelson / Ben Smith
Observation Date
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Avalanche Date
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Dry Fork of AF
Location Name or Route
Dry Fork
Avalanche Type
Soft Slab
Avalanche Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Riding conditions in dry fork were incredible on Tuesday, April 16. The top layer of storm snow was a little dense, but still fluffy enough for over the windshield turns all day. After getting our fill on the sleds we made the decision to ski a sub ridge in the center of the drainage below the top of Alta's Supreme lift. The prominent aspect of the face is east, however there are more northerly and southerly pockets. My partner dropped a mid sized cliff into a small, northeasterly facing chute right around 10,000 feet in elevation. When he landed a small slab released and propagated a short distance along the bottom of the cliffs. The crown ranged from 1-2 feet in depth and was approximately 30-40 feet wide. In total the slide ran around 100 feet down the slope before it ran out of steam. We determined the angle of the slope to be 31° - 33° where it released. The pocket that released had most likely been a deposition zone for wind transported snow during the last storm. When loaded by the weight of the snowboarder it easily broke free. The slab showed no evidence of stepping down, failing only in the top layer and running on the harder crust underneath. 

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