Observation: Guardsman Pass area

Observation Date
Observer Name
Salt Lake » Big Cottonwood Canyon » Guardsman Pass area
Location Name or Route
Guardsman Pass area
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Hot and sunny. About to get hotter. Free air temps at 700mb are expected to rise to +5C tonight and +7C tomorrow - the warmest temps of the year.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Faceted Loose
Melt-Freeze Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments
High northerlies still held cold snow and surface hoar from the lingering high RH on Monday and Tuesday. Solars are supportable corn until they are not, depending on aspect and elevation.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Rapid Warming
Red Flags Comments
See above. I experienced no collapsing on the supportable mf crust.
Avalanche Problem #1
Wet Snow
Increasing Danger
Problem #1 Comments
Looking for potential wet slab structure. Big picture - last weekend's storm of 16-24" fell primarily on melt freeze crusts on nearly all aspects and elevations but high true north. This storm snow is slowly transitioning from cold winter snow to spring snow. Transitional snow is often tricky and finicky.
On due south at 9150' on the BCC side of Guardsman -
Free water issues: Red dye (ok - watered down old cooking sherry) pooled at the interface below fine grained rounds at their interface with coarse melt freeze grains (as you might expect). See photo 1. This (at 30cm down) might be the failure plane for wet slabs regarding free water. See photo below.
Propagation: Regarding propagation of wet slabs, I found easy and full propagation ECTP10 above the old dirt layer on a loose aggregate of melt freeze grains. Loose. This layer is 2-5cm below the layer indicated above. See photo 2.

On southeast at 9670' on the Bonanza side of Guardsman, the red dye pooled as it had in the profile above - at the interface just below fine grained rounds on mf grains.
Avalanche Problem #2
Gliding Snow
Increasing Danger
Problem #2 Comments
Glide avalanches are almost a certainty tomorrow through - and at least - the weekend - in their usual habitat. I would avoid all of Stairs Gulch and choose only the most benign terrain well out of the runout zones of Broads Fork. Mill B South and Main Porter (higher locales) have pockety glide terrain as well. Cornices - same message.
As a side note - the Provo mountains, particularly along the Cascade ridgeline - have significantly shallower and weaker snow in areas due to repeater avalanches: these will be suspect during the heat wave for wet slab activity.
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating