Observation: Cardiff Fork

Observation Date
12/29/2017
Observer Name
mark white

Region:

Location Name or Route
Cardiff Fork
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Moderate
Weather Comments
Unseasonably warm with clear skies and moderate wind speeds out of the west.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Dense Loose
Wind Crust
Damp
Snow Characteristics Comments

Various snow surface conditions depending on location Wind crust in most of the upper elevations of Cardiac, W-NW facing is especially wind hammered, settled powder on the N,E and NE in wind protected terrain and down lower in the drainage, damp on the S end of the compass and at lower elevations.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Wind Loading
Cracking
Collapsing
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
Same old red flags, especcially the cracking and collapsing, and some wind loading on the high ridge line.
Comments

Went to take a look at Cardiac and Cardiff Fork since I haven't visited it since the storms from last weekend. Started at the Alta Guard station and skied out into BCC at the end of the day. We decided to use the old avalanche bed surface just east of Pole Line Pass as an entry into Cardiff Fork, not wanting to test the waters on the steep N facing entries yet, I was also wondering what the 4 day old bed surface was looking like for future loads. I checked out the bed surface of the Reynolds Peak slide yesterday it was still firm and not faceted, the bed surface of the Cardiff slide was 5 to 6 inches of completely rotten loose faceted snow with no cohesion and seems doomed to be a repeater if we ever get another storm. We proceeded down canyon to Ivory Flakes avoiding upper Cardiac completely. I did note a slide I haven't heard about on the sub-ridge just across from Holy Toledo looked to happen in the last couple days. Skiing down the low angle from Holy Toledo to the mine we experience several collapses and noted many smaller avalanches that occurred earlier in the week. We proceeded to hike up Ivory to the bench below the rock slabs, getting loud collapses and cracking on the upper portion where we were breaking trail. Repeated cracking and collapsing 5 days after a storm is not a good indicator of things stabilizing rapidly, it's basically the opposite. Skiing out on a SE facing slope at the bottom of Ivory we were getting roller-balls in the saturated snow.

Photos: The faceted loose snow that comprises the bed surface of the Cardiff Pass slide, avalanche off the sub-ridge, cracking while hiking up Ivory, old slides on the rock slabs.

Today's Observed Danger Rating
Considerable
Tomorrows Estimated Danger Rating
Considerable
Snow Profile Coordinates