11th Annual Utah Snow & Avalanche Workshop Open and Motorized Sessions Oct. 27th.
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Observer Name: 
Doug Wewer
Observation Date: 
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Avalanche Date: 
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Location Name or Route: 
Willard Peak
Elevation: 
9400
Aspect: 
East
Trigger: 
Natural
Trigger: additional info: 
Cornice Triggered
Avalanche Type: 
Wet Slab
Depth: 
3.5'
Width: 
250
Vertical: 
2250
Comments: 

Saw this slide on my drive home today.  Went up Cutler Ridge to get a better look.

The second photo below tells the story.  It looks like a cornice broke off of the ridge, triggering a small slab just off the ridgeline.  This mass of snow tumbled downhill, trigger the much larger wet slab below.  Despite only being 250 feet or so wide, it entrained a lot of snow throughout the path, triggering several sympathetic slabs below (see third photo).  After running through a deep gully, the debris fanned out in several branches, and developed one deep channel that deposited the two branches on the left.

My best guess is that it came down with this morning's sun, but it may have happened Wednesday.

The approach to Cutler wasn't too bad.  Had to walk about 15 minutes from the trailhead before getting on snow. While the sun was out, the snow surface was very wet and saturated.  Perfect "push-a-lanche" snow.  The snow quickly developed a surface freeze when the sun set behind the ridge.

Comments: 

Also observed dozens of other point releases like the photos below.  I was impressed with the amount of debris created by these slides.  Individual roller balls coming off of the upper ridgelines were able to entrain enormous amounts of snow, often running 1000' or more vertical feet.  Also heard some rockfall on southerly aspects.

Coordinates: 
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