Observation: Cardiff Fork

Observation Date
Observer Name
Salt Lake » Big Cottonwood Canyon » Cardiff Fork
Location Name or Route
Cardiff / Mineral
Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Rapid Warming
Poor Snowpack Structure
Avalanche Problem #1
Persistent Weak Layer
Decreasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
This morning a D2 avalanche that was likely skier triggered occurred on a ENE and E aspect of Superior. It seemed to start in a wind loaded location initially failing in some places on a more shallow weak layer, perhaps a density change or graupel. It stepped down into a deeper layer, likely the Valentine's Day facet layer. The crown looked quite deep in places. This avalanche continues to make me wary of E and SE slopes. Now ENE is on my radar as well.
Avalanche Problem #2
Decreasing Danger
I toured across Cardiff and Mineral on a variety of aspects today. Winds were calm, gusting to light at ridge tops. A beautiful sunny day. Notably, I found weakening surfaces on northerlies and easterlies. Widespread surface hoar was observed all the way to the top of Superior and E Fork of Mineral/Ivories. I believe I found radiation recrystalization under the surface hoar in the upper part of Mid Ivories on ENE. I regret not poking around earlier in my tour to determine if this RR is isolated in nature. I did not have my scope to id the grains. I believe the RR formed yesterday with the pop of sunshine and warmth and became capped with surface hoar overnight.
Lots of long running dry loose with weakening surface conditions on northerlies, but quite manageable.
Lots of wet loose activity on SE and Westerlies in the afternoon. Skiing out Mineral it seemed like a nice corn cycle was going on at low elevations on W.
The sun warmed up E>S>W facing slopes and I imagine these will have varying degrees of crust thickness tomorrow. Northerlies still hold very nice settled powder that is weakening with strong diurnal temperature fluctuations. It seems like around 8000' all aspects including Northerlies have a crust from yesterday's warm temperatures.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating