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Observation: Highline

Observation Date
2/10/2024
Observer Name
Gagne/Reich
Region
Salt Lake » Big Cottonwood Canyon » Mineral Fork » Highline
Location Name or Route
Highline - Mineral Fork
Weather
Sky
Broken
Precipitation
Light Snowfall
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Light
Weather Comments
Clouds moved in during the afternoon bringing a trace of new snow.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Snow Characteristics Comments
HS is one to two meters up to 9,000'
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Problem
Persistent Weak Layer
Trend
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
I was able to find plenty of thinner snow above 8,500' (mid elevation terrain on SLC danger rose) with a poor snowpack structure.
Comments
The most notable avalanche we saw was a natural in Room of Doom that ran wall to wall. We also saw plenty of sluffs on all aspects, and a few natural soft slab avalanches on northwest facing slopes.
Weaknesses within storm snow from this past week have settled out and I think it would be hard to trigger an avalanche failing within the ~60-75 cm storm slab.
The most interesting spot we found today was on a thinner slope with 110 cm snowpack. The bottom 20 cms was fist-hard, 6-8 mm depth hoar, with a 4F slab on top. ECTX (no fracture), but the poor structure kept us off steep slopes with a thin snowpack.
Photos:
- Widespread sluffs on steep slopes.
- Stress cracks above a 40° northwest facing slope that naturally avalanched, likely Wednesday.
- pit above the stress cracks in thin snowpack area showing poor structure of stronger slab on top of depth hoar.
I had thought I would begin to have a mindset of slowly stepping out into bigger terrain, but the huge avalanches failing in the PWL the past few days and the poor structure we saw today will keep me cautious for the next while.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Coordinates