Observation: Salt Lake

Observation Date
4/25/2019
Observer Name
B
Region
Salt Lake
Location Name or Route
Cardiff
Weather
Sky
Few
Wind Direction
Northwest
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Day started with few sky cover and by 1100 the clouds increased to broken until later in the afternoon when the skies cleared once again. Temperatures overnight continued to be warm with a minimal to insignificant refreeze.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments
Snow surface conditions were poor to fair, semi-supportable and manky;  and ultimately worse than the previous day. Upon the exit at 1330 the mashed potatoes were at least carvable with ski penetration 10 to 12 cm. 
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Poor snowpack structure identified within a thick rain crust layer that was 60 cm down. This weakness was a crust facet sandwich located within this crust layer. This entire crust was 18 cm thick, and the weakness within the crust was identified with a CTH SP. Other sites with this crust layer did not yield similar results, yet it's size and it's ability to be not allow for adequate snowpack drainage remains a concern. Multiple sites identified an upper snowpack weakness at around 22 cm down with CTH SP scores. This upper snowpack location appeared to be the weakness where widespread wet loose activity was observed between 1130 and 1300 on steep SE and S facing slopes in upper Cardiff. Upon driving down the canyon other new wet loose activity was noted on the top part of Scotties Bowl as well as just off the north face of Lake Peak.
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Wet Snow
Trend
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
See above for multiple wet loose avalanches (1.5 to 2 in size), and considering our exit was early at 1330 it is very likely that multiple west facing steep slopes continued with this trend. As temperatures and cloud cover are likely to remain as significant red flag contributing factors  over at least the next 36 hours, Friday most likely will continue to remain active. At some point, if these red flag weather conditions persist, wet slab activity will come into play and start running on the aforementioned stout/thick buried rain crust. 
Avalanche Problem #2
Problem
Cornice
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments
The cornices appear to be shrinking in many locations due to the excessive heat, yet there are many large ones still out there that remain suspect. 
Comments
As with most spring diurnal snowpacks, the hazard/danger rises with daytime heating. By 1030 a lone skier on Flagstaff Bowl easily initiated three wet loose (1.5) while traversing across the upper SE facing starting zones. There was also one Corn Slab avalanche that was reported to have been human triggered early in the day in the lower Flagstaff area on a steep/medium sized, southerly facing rollover feature. This slide appeared to be at least 100 feet wide and releasing on the same upper snowpack weak layer. 
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable

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