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Observation: Albion Basin

Observation Date
5/12/2022
Observer Name
Nate L
Region
Salt Lake » Little Cottonwood Canyon » Albion Basin
Location Name or Route
Albion Basin
Red Flags
Red Flags
Rapid Warming
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
New Snow
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
2-6" of new snow on the ground, with deeper depths in locations and aspects (such as easterly) that were more sheltered from winds coming from the SW-NW. The new snow was quite light and uncohesive. My partner and I noticed no signs of slabbing in the new snow. We noticed plenty of evidence of wind drifting and wind deposits, but encountered no reactive wind slabs, not even shooting cracks. I'd imagine the windslabs are currently present but shallow and rare, stabilizing quickly. The new snow did sluff easily on steeper slopes, but these sluffs stayed small due to the shallow new snow depth.
Avalanche Problem #2
Problem
Wet Snow
Trend
Same
Problem #2 Comments
By our exit at 1pm, the new snow had become wet and reactive in many locations. A ski cut going into Glory Hole at Alta produced a wet loose slide that ran into the flats. Rollerballs were evident on many slopes by 11am-noon. I expect that this problem will remain in play tomorrow, especially on more northerly aspects which stayed colder and drier today. Additionally, with a large heatwave in the forecast for Saturday, I wouldn't be surprised to see widespread wet activity, possibly breaking below the new snow. Backcountry travelers would be wise to watch whether we get overnight refreezes this weekend- I like to check the Atwater study plot snow surface temperature, in addition to watching ski penetration into the wet snow and trying to squeeze water out of snowballs.
Comments
Started the day around 8:30am with S1 precip, quickly tapering to cloudy with no precip by 10ish and scattered clouds by 11. Riding conditions were great in the new snow, with the old snow surface remaining edgeable whenever the new snow was not deep enough (which was frequent). The snow became wet and heavy very quickly when the sun came out, resulting in deteriorating riding conditions by noon. South aspects are mostly melted at all but the highest elevations, while northerly aspects generally still have great coverage (at least in upper LCC). Still appears to be plenty of season left on high elevation northerly slopes.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Moderate
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Moderate
Coordinates