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Observation: Emma Ridges

Observation Date
3/27/2023
Observer Name
Kelly
Region
Salt Lake » Little Cottonwood Canyon » Emma Ridges
Location Name or Route
Emma's- Upper Silver Fork
Weather
Sky
Broken
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Skies were clear-overcast depending on the time of day. Whenever it was cloudy very light snow was falling. Winds were very calm with light gusts from the west. Air temperature was cold 23 ˚F.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
9"
New Snow Density
Medium
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
Snow had been low density powder to start the day and there was a very slight melt freeze crust with small grained stellars and near surface facets on the surface. Lower angle slopes had less of a melt freeze crust and on steeper southerly facing terrain the melt freeze crust was combined with the powdery face shots. It did not affect the skiing this afternoon.
Photo of 1F hardness meltfreeze crust with stellars and near surface facets above the crust
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Red Flags Comments
I drove down canyon to look at the results of this mornings UDOT work on southerly facing terrain. I noted lower and mid-canyon new soft snow debris in the Y, Y-Not, Triangle Couloir, A couple of the Coal Pit Couloirs, and an old slide above the Wasatch Resort (way low). There some dry loose avalanches high in the rocks on the north facing side of the canyon about 1pm and small wet loose in the rocks on the south facing side of the canyon. While the air temperature was cold the March sun was quite warm. I saw 2 dry loose avalanches- 1 natural on south-west facing Grizzly Cup and 1 skier triggered on east facing Binx's.
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
New Snow
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments
It just keeps snowing. Interfaces in the top 3' of the snowpack had some failures in quick hand pits- but I believe this will settle out. It's the odd area with a slight crust or some zone that recieved a hint of sun during storm breaks I would be wary of.
Snow Profile
Aspect
Southwest
Elevation
9,700'
Slope Angle
33°
Comments
Amazing to find a southwest facing slope with this much dry snow and so few crusts at the end of March. Height of snow was more than 465cm. I couldn't find the bottom with a 300cm probe at the bottom of the snowpit.
Propagation at 340cm after ECTX on the ice crust with a very firm shovel pry.
I couldn't find signs of a major grain hand hardness change above the crust.
Some ECTN's (no propagation) in the top 3' of the snow- not repeatable. Surface crust with near surface facets above the crust is worth noting as we move forward into this week's storm.
Photo 1 of cornices in Upper Silver Fork
Photo 2 of dry loose below Binx's (east facing steep wind-loaded zone)
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
None
Coordinates