Observation: Coalpit

Observation Date
Observer Name
R. Kosinski
Salt Lake » Little Cottonwood Canyon » Coalpit
Location Name or Route
Avalanche Problem #1
Normal Caution
Problem #1 Comments
Last two days have been the definition of "Low" danger.
Started my tour around 0830 under cool, clear skies with no wind. Going up the Y couloir and working over into the Coalpit Headwall things began to heat up significantly in the sun while remaining cool in the shade. Approaching the top of Coalpit around 1330, there was a light breeze and unlimited visibility. Conditions wise there is still plenty of preserved powder on the shady aspects and depending on the time of day, moist snow or a M/F crust on sunny aspects. It does seem that in more exposed areas the new snow from the last storm is starting to rapidly facet and lose strength. I experienced multiple long running facet sluffs and a number of spots were this top layer didn't have much strength. Surface hoar is widespread and well-preserved on shady aspects with the lack of wind.
The days don't get much better than this; lots of preserved powder, low avy danger, unlimited visibility, and high tide riding conditions. People have been taking advantage of this as many big lines like Pfief NW couloir and Lone Peak NE couloir have been skied without incident; even Coalpit had about 20 tracks from yesterday and today. This stability is likely to rapidly deteriorate when this next storm system rolls in as these current conditions have been rapidly weakening the snowpack.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating