Observation: Cardiff Fork

Observation Date
01/16/2018
Observer Name
Hughes, Staples, White

Region:

Location Name or Route
Cardiff Fork
Weather
Sky
Clear
Wind Direction
West
Wind Speed
Calm
Weather Comments
Very calm bluebird day in the Central Wasatch.
Snow Characteristics
Snow Surface Conditions
Powder
Faceted Loose
Wind Crust
Snow Characteristics Comments

Varying snow surface conditions throughout our travels today. In terrain that was more exposed to the wind there was a slight wind crust. The lower angle terrain still held soft settled powder. Near surface facets (NSF) observed on NW-E facing slopes. Surface of the southerly aspects going through melt freeze cycles.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Recent Avalanches
Cracking
Poor Snowpack Structure
Red Flags Comments
The number one clue to avalanchs is avalanches... Pretty simple right? If you are seeing them or hearing about them then we know that we can trigger them. I did note some cracking on the surface today. The setup and structure is apparent we have weak sugary snow underlying strong more cohesive snow.
Avalanche Problem #1
Type
Persistent Slab
Trend
Same
Problem #1 Comments

The snowpack has slowly begun to adjust to the new load from the recent storm. The avalanche danger slowly decreases to moderate for triggering these persistent slab avalanches but REMEMBER the consequences remain the same. These types of avalanches are notorious for luring us out on to slopes that look great AND may even have tracks on the slope,  then one or two turns in the slope justs shatters like a pane of glass taking us for a long out of control ride. The consequences are just not worth it especially here in Utah where these types of avalanches generally strain us through trees, rocks or into terrain traps where a deep burial is likely. The key is avoidance. Patience. After all we are in this for life. What is 1 season out of your 30-40 year backcountry skiing career... Give it time and surf the low angle meadows.

Video

 

9,800ft NE 28 degrees

ECTP 24 Failing on faceted snow. 

We did other ECT tests today that yielded no results or ECTX. However, structure always trumps pit results. When it is so apparent they we have strong snow over weak snow we just back off and give it LOTS of time to strengthen.

Video

9,600ft NE 32 degrees

CT 14 Q1

 

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