Avalanche: Salt Lake Twins

Observer Name
Juan Peon
Observation Date
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Avalanche Date
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Salt Lake » Big Cottonwood Canyon » Broads Fork » Salt Lake Twins
Location Name or Route
Broads Fork Twin Peaks
Yesterday morning, Thursday March 16th my Friends Spencer Joaquin and I headed up broads fork with the goal of gettting to the top of twins peak and riding the east face. We noticed pockety windlslabs, flagging up high on the peaks and signs of natural avalanches from the previous stormy day as we went up. Once on cottonwood ridge we continued up towards twin peaks and noticed very touchy medium sized wind slabs on the south facing slopes just off the ridge. I continued up the ridge as a I felt that we could manage the terrain, stay on the ridge and avoid having a wind slab carry us or be on top of us. I climbed up through the chute shown in the google earth photo and was a ways ahead of my group. While they were in the chute still I took a step and triggered a mostly thin wind slabs with one deep pocket about 2 feet deep off to my side that funneled down into to the chute and carried Joaquin about 70 feet down the slope. After this we regrouped and decided after a long talk that our way to summit was clear and that our line was still manageable given the terrain on it. This short chute feature (which you'll see in the photo) on the twin peaks ridge seems to have given many people problems and is a frequently heavily windloaded pocket. I'd like to bring attention to that and encourage people to use extra caution there.
No one was hurt and the day was a succes but we certainly pushed it way harder than I think is acceptable for me and reinforced some inportant lessons in the mountains. 1) if you must recreate in touchy conditions take EXTRA care to not expose other members of your party to hazards on the uptrack
2) It's best to just switch plans when there are many red flags instead of trying to manage all the problems even if you think it's viable