31st Annual Backcountry Benefit - September 12th - Tickets Available Here!

Observation: Laurel Highway

Observation Date
Observer Name
Ryan Huels
Moab » Laurel Highway
Location Name or Route
Laurel Highway
Red Flags
Red Flags
Rapid Warming
Avalanche Problem #1
Wet Snow
Problem #1 Comments
Normal spring time caution for loose wet and wet slab avalanches. Keep an eye out for pinwheels, rollerblades or penetration of several inches into the snowpack. Instability will be earlier in the day with rising temperatures this weekend. Keep an eye out for overnight freezing
I started skinning from the Winter Trailhead at 745am where the snow was frozen. The snowpack is down to dirt several hundred feet below the winter lot. While it is still possibly to skin entirely from ther winter lot it won't be long until you have to walk the road. There are several small sections along the road in Gold Basin where you must dismount and walk over dirt. There is lots to avoid in the trees. The snow was frozen for the entirety of my ascent aside from densely wooded areas where the snowpack did not freeze overnight. I went up the the Laurel Wind station to get a sense of the snowpack around the compass and get an eye on the larger N facing lines.
The southern aspects are done for the season but the northerly facing aspects are still holding great snow and are several feet deep. Compared with two weeks ago, there appears to be little lost and there is still plenty of skiing on the N side of the compass. Tuk and Tuk No are still completely covered and three parties where skiing the NE face of Tuk which has a skin track set. Advise crampons and/or a rescue device while ascending steep icy slopes in the morning.
Laurel Peak remained in the clouds keeping the snow surface hard through 1030am when I decided to head down with no signs of the sun coming out any time soon. Meanwhile Tuk and Tuk No were in the sun while one party was making its way down. Just below treeline the snow softened in the sun by 10am.
In early, out early skiing east to west is best. Instability will come earlier in the day this weekend with rising temperatures this weekend. Be on the lookout for rollerblades, pinwheels or deep penetration into the snowpack and be off steep terrain if there are such signs.
Great spring time skiing to be had above the Red Rock Desert!
Today's Observed Danger Rating
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating