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Observation: Catherine's Pass

Observation Date
Observer Name
Nate L
Salt Lake » Little Cottonwood Canyon » Catherine's Pass
Location Name or Route
Catherine's Pass
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
As suggested by weather conditions over the last few weeks (shallow snow, cold clear nights), we have quite the facet problem, and this storm added a nice slab on top. I only dug one pit, but got an ECTP21 in it and observed a thick layer of well-developed facets. I also noticed that Alta Ski Patrol was able to pull out a number of slabs in the High Greeley area, presumably using explosives. While I didn't notice any human-triggered avalanches near where I skiied, most of the terrain was too low-angle to slide. Given more of the same in the forecast, a still-shallow snowpack even in the most northerly locations, and the temperature gradient I saw in my pit, I'd wager these facets are just going to grow and become more sensitive, leading to larger slides with more loading.
Snow Profile
Mostly bluebird day with occasional clouds. Low elevation cloud deck ranged from around 7500ft at noon, coming up to around 9500ft at 4pm. Almost no wind. Favored northerly aspects with little rocks are very skiable, with decent coverage and good snow. Southerlies and westerlies have very little coverage- many were bare before this storm. Easterlies are hit and miss- rocky east-facing areas are still very sharky. Tons of people skiing around Catherine's.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating