Observation: Little Cottonwood Canyon

Observation Date
Observer Name
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Location Name or Route
South facing LCC
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Socked in and lightly snowing in the AM, blues skies in the PM with moderate SW winds on the ridge line.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
New Snow Density
Snow Surface Conditions
Snow Characteristics Comments

There was 12 to 16 inches of new light density snow resting on a dense supportable base from the previous storm.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading

Skied a bunch of S-SE facing terrain on the north side across from Alta, Cardiff, East Hellgate, and Flagstaff. The main instabilities of the day were sensitive wind slabs in the new snow, also some long running sluffs. The wind slabs seemed to be mainly on slopes with a SE-E component to them and also on due S facing slopes that had been cross-loaded. These wind slabs would pull out on the stiff dense snow from the last couple storms and take all the new light density snow with them. Probably not a huge concern except in steep complicated terrain with hazardous run outs. The wind slabs were also fairly easy to identify by their pillowy appearance. The south facing at lower elevations was getting damp by my exit at 3:00pm.

Photos: I triggered around 5 wind-slabs today and these are photos of a few of them.

I would think the wind slabs and sluffing would settle out by tomorrow, but with such light density snow any large wind event could tip the scales again. The new snow keeps stacking up and where it's stacking up on poor snow-pack structure in thinner snow-pack regions who knows what going to happen and with continued storminess forecasted I'm keeping my cards held tight.

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