Observation: Cardiff Fork

Observation Date
1/9/2019
Observer Name
mark white
Region
Salt Lake
Location Name or Route
Cardiac
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
South
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Warm, with moderate to strong S winds moving snow on the ridge lines and down in the drainages, cross loading and slabbing up the NE-E facing.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Melt-Freeze Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
As if the wind had not already damaged all the slopes in upper Cardiac enough it continued to crank out of the S today further damaging basically all the terrain in the alpine. The words windjacked, inverted, slabby and sustrugi all come to mind.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Cracking
Travel was up from the Alta Guard Station, Cardiff Pass, Cardiac and out BCC. I was a bit surprised by the strong S winds in the AM which basically erased any thoughts of skiing Cardiac Ridge or the Bowl and when we got to the pass and had a look at them decided there was no reason being that they were wind jacked and slabby. The wind was moving snow way down into the bottom of the drainage forming cornices on features that never regularly have them. Some of the drifts were easy to crack out on steeper slopes. Down lower in more protected terrain the warm temperatures were the enemy making the snow thick and somewhat inverted, and straight up gooey on the lower S, SE, and SW. With no cold clear nights in the next few days the snow will not recrystallize and remain stagnant, and slabby. On the other hand it’s good base building snow and the warm temperatures should speed up stabilization. 
Photos: wind moving snow in Cardiac and Maybird, wind damage, cornice formation in the bottom of the drainage
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate

Support the Avalanche Center through your purchases

Discount lift tickets
All proceeds from ticket sales benefit the UAC when you purchase your next lift tickets.
Need new gear?
Make your next purchase from our Affiliate Partners and the UAC will receive a portion of the sales.
Shop
Sign up for our newsletters, emails and daily forecasts to stay up to date.
Subscribe