Avalanche: White Pine

Observer Name
Hopkins / Hopkins / Matt Szad
Observation Date
Monday, April 1, 2024
Avalanche Date
Monday, April 1, 2024
Salt Lake » Little Cottonwood Canyon » White Pine
Location Name or Route
White Pine
Avalanche Type
Soft Slab
Avalanche Problem
Wind Drifted Snow
Weak Layer
Density Change
The snow in White Pine was plentiful and pristine. There wasn't a cloud in the sky at sunrise, and then the sun mixed with clouds and glinting snow, creating idyllic views. With so much snow and so few skin tracks (only Powder Birds all around us), we had to temper our expectations a bit.
We decided to seek out slightly wind scoured steep terrain to make sure to avoid wind deposited areas. This brought us to gain a mostly benign ridge near The Spire.
We had recognized that we had to get through a short stint that was steep, right around 38 degrees, and so we spaced out quite far apart with nobody under the person breaking trail. 10 ft before the safety of trees and the top of the ridge, a soft slab broke at the skinner's feet. The slide was wide, but didn't run far at all as we were in a pretty shallow bowl. Nobody was caught or carried.
This was exactly the type of avalanche that seems to be pervading various aspects and elevations. I've certainly been finding all the touchy spots lately and realizing I need to give the snow a bit more time to heal.
P.S. We noticed a large, natural avalanche on Lake Chute from a distance. Photo didn't turn out because it was too far.