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Observation: Little Cottonwood Canyon

Observation Date
4/28/2019
Observer Name
Clark / Mazejy
Region
Salt Lake
Location Name or Route
LCC Super Tour
Red Flags
Red Flags
Rapid Warming
Avalanche Problem #1
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
Daytime heating causing wet and unconsolidated snowpack on southerly and westerly aspects. Skier triggered wet slides were common and dangerous later in the day
Comments
Great day on a classic Wasatch ski tour. Plenty of snow still up there. Skies were lightly obscured by clouds. From our start at white pine to upper Hogum we traveled efficiently on a frozen, then becoming supportable corn, snow surface. This was a little surprising considering the overnight temps only dipped to 37 F.  Upon crossing the north ridge of the Pfeiferhorn skies darkened with thunder and one flash of lightning. We considered bailing on the expedition and exiting via Hogum, but skies soon improved and remained mostly sunny. The sun weakened the south facing aspects and turned the boot pack form Hogum to upper Bells into a waist deep wallow thru unconsolidated to the ground. Shrubs and exposed granite were used to aid the scramble thru the soft wet snow. The exit out Bells was spicy with very dangerous skier triggered wet slide potential below the upper cirque. Keeping left and using a lot of caution on the descent got us safely thru the mid canyon transition and we were able to traverse the north facing aspects below and stay on skis until the waterfall leaving a 1 hour dry hike to the truck.  
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate

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