Observation: Cardiff/Mineral

Observation Date
Observer Name
Salt Lake » Big Cottonwood Canyon » Cardiff/Mineral
Location Name or Route
Toledo - Cardiff - Mineral
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Low visibility day. Light snowfall in the morning, with light to moderate winds along the ridgelines. Clouds were in and out throughout the day.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Greating riding conditions to be found. Along ridgelines, and just below ridgelines there is a minimal wind crust and wind-buffed snow surface. Once you get out of the wind zone, soft cold snow is preserved.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading
Headed out to look at the snow surfaces, and sensitivity of the wind drifts of upper elevation terrain from Little Cottonwood Canyon into Big Cottonwood Canyon. An inch or two of low-density new snow made the skin tracks slick and dusted over old tracks. Along ridgelines, cornices continue to grow to impressive sizes. There have been no apparent signs of these cornices beginning to fall yet, but as they continue to grow I would be more suspect. Along ridgelines, and into the entrances of upper-elevation terrain the snow surface had signs of wind-drifted snow and texture. A few hundred feet below ridgelines, the riding conditions improved and soft powder was preserved.
Under the few inches of new low-density snow, the old snow surface seems to be weakening with the cold days, and nights. In steep treed terrain, we were able to get a bit of sluffing in steep terrain. While this isn't a huge issue right now if the snow surface continues to weaken it would become a layer of concern once we get a large load on top of it.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating