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Observation: Pole Line Pass

Observation Date
Observer Name
Salt Lake » Little Cottonwood Canyon » Cardiff Pass » Pole Line Pass
Location Name or Route
Pole line pass
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
New Snow Density
Snow Surface Conditions
Snow Characteristics Comments
2.5' of new snow containing ~3.7" of water over the last 2 days (since Sunday morning)
Today my skis would only sink about 6" but if I stepped out of my skis, I'd sink to the old snow.
At 5pm, the skiing was fast, fun, and surfy.
Red Flags
Red Flags
Heavy Snowfall
Wind Loading
Red Flags Comments
It's just a lot of snow and water over a short period. I got off the skin track numerous times and couldn't get any collapsing or cracking. Another group in Silver Fork did get some good collapses which is not surprising. https://utahavalanchecenter.org/observation/87459
Out for a quick dusk patrol lap, and it seemed like a lot of other folks were on the same program. I dug in two places between Alta Guard and Pole Line Pass. The snow seemed well bonded to the old snow underneath and to itself. No ECTP's and the ECTN's were rough and sluggish.
Despite what looked good in my pits, I was a bit nervous just due to all the heavy, new snow that fell so quickly. What I like about digging a snowpit is that it counters my excited emotions of all the great powder with thoughts of what an avalanche could look like. Even just stepping out of my skis and sinking to almost my waist creates emotions that temper the powder fever.
i suspect that I'd trust the new snow a lot more tomorrow after it has another 24 hours to settle and bond. Of course, when the sun comes roaring back - watch out.
The other issue is wind transport. Looking around at the trees (photo below) they hardly have any snow on them but over 2.5' has fallen. Some of the snow was graupel which doesn't stick to the trees. Some of the snow was blown off by winds (video below).
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating