Observation: Little Cottonwood Canyon

Observation Date
Observer Name
mark white


Location Name or Route
South facing LCC
Moderate Snowfall
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Weather Comments
Cold and windy even down in the drainage bottoms, moderate snow fall, with only a few short breaks of sun.
Snow Characteristics
New Snow Depth
New Snow Density
Snow Surface Conditions
Snow Characteristics Comments

Two feet of right side up low density snow with the upper 12 inches composed of very light density lake effect snow. All aspects remained powder from the cold temperatures and no sun. There was some wind effected snow but it seemed confined to the upper ridge lines.

Red Flags
Red Flags
Wind Loading

I'll make this ob short and sweet. TWO FEET OF SNOW, WINDY, AND GOOD STABILITY, three thing that I haven't been able to use in the same sentence all year. I didn't head up the canyon until around 10:00am to give the new snow some time to settle out, by the time I was out on the snow things seemed fairly well bonded, dug some quick hand pit down to the old rain crust, the first couple inches on the crust seemed well bonded to the rain crust, there were a few density inversions but they were non-reactive to compression tests. Sluffing was minimal even on slopes up to 40 degrees and it was only the top 5 or so inches that were moving. I would think that tomorrow will be more problematic than today, with rapid warming and a slick bed surface waiting to be lubed up by the sun, and a large amount of light density snow that will not fair well when the sun hits it. With the advisories coming to a end I hope everyone keeps it real and we make it another year with no fatalities, and I hope some of you gleamed some good information from my observations that helped in your decision making.

Photos: what we've been waiting for all year, wind transport on the high ridge lines, deep trail breaking, not much sluffing.

Thinking considerable tomorrow for wet activity if its blue bird and warm, especially on the steep south facing aspects.

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