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Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the great state of Utah, from the alpine peaks to the desert slots. Please post partners requests and trip plans here or in the Utah Climbing Partners section.
 

Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Mooner » Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:11 pm

Here is a fun little video of what we can expect once the snow comes.

http://vimeo.com/34276444
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Ed F » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:07 pm

Mooner wrote:Here is a fun little video of what we can expect once the snow comes.

http://vimeo.com/34276444


On top of that buried crap in the snowpack, it's going to be extremely "pockety" once it does snow. There are some south-facing slopes that are bare right now, and could be very safe with the right kind of storm on top of it. The same kind of storm would make places like that video's location a death-trap. It's going to be tricky. This isn't going to be the usual Wasatch snowpack this year, at least not until we stack up a LOT of snow.

Just waiting for the snow now.............. and waiting...............and waiting........................and waiting.........................................
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:16 pm

3 o clock slide path's starting zone (located above the town of Alta off of Mt Flagstaff) in Little Cottonwood was dry earlier this week. So is Circle Awl Peak's south face. Good places to go when the snow startes to pile up. Saw a ski shop sign today that usualy reads "pray for snow". Now it reads "pray harder". Aint that the truth!
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Ed F » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:15 pm

Saw a ski shop sign today that usualy reads "pray for snow". Now it reads "pray harder". Aint that the truth!

Willing to do anything at this point, including sacrificing virgins and making burnt offerings.

Some links to tide us over:
Nice weather geek site I haven't seen before: http://wasatchsnowforecast.com/

Another nice video showing the weak layers from West Bowl: http://vimeo.com/34815810

Avalanche carries skier near Berthoud in CO: http://www.thegoldenstar.net/news/136861128.html; http://youtu.be/kdlMZ_6C6A8
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:02 am

Went to the Twin Lakes area with my twin. There was barely any new snow (3 inches). The North aspect we played on had a nice wind crust that put my twin on his face. We hit a few rocks too. We cheated and started at the milly lift at Brighton for a $15 single ride.

The bombing crew was using their "Gazex" guns this afternoon. Never seen them in action before. 3 blasts and 3 little sluffs on millicent. There were a few new very small snow sluffs out there on East aspects. The winds were blowing hard, loading Wolverine Cirque and Twin Lakes Pass. The pass still looked a bit rocky for our pretty knees so we decided it would be best to wait for the 36 inches that is coming our way this week! FINALLY!!!
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Mooner » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:50 pm

Here is a video by the Utah Avalanche Center of a Monster Avalanche in the Uintas. Enjoy

http://vimeo.com/35405938
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Dan Shorb » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:03 pm

Mooner wrote:Here is a video by the Utah Avalanche Center of a Monster Avalanche in the Uintas. Enjoy

http://vimeo.com/35405938


Reactive is an understatement. Damn.
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:39 pm

Things are EXTREMELY touchy out there. Today we called off a tour due to the avalanche conditions. The run in Bear Trap Fork we had in mind has not avalanched since the 80s...however this recent storm cycle has us thinking it could go through it's "once in a 30 year avalanche cycle". Just about anywhere over 33 degrees is sliding off big. No wonder the danger is extreme! Not worth getting burried or busting a knee again.
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:51 pm

Viewed some natural avalanches from a park close to my house since I pussied out of touring today (you know things are dangerous when we won't go out). Wanted to get some views of the Oquirrh Range but the damn clouds got in the way :x .

This natural avalanche was on the Tri Chutes of Red Stack. Viewed from a very safe distance of course. The path goes well out of the photo. What is interesting is the faint crown lines near the ridge above the main avalanche.
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This natural avalanche occured on a valley facing run I like to call "The Wishbone Chute". I have been scoping this chute for years. Can't wait to ski it. The avalanche started near the ridge on the left side of the photo and went into the chute's roll over (lower down) on the right side of the photo. The 2nd photo is of The Wishbone Chute.
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There was a large natural below the ridge that leads to Lone Peak.
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There were several small natural avalanches on the roll overs of Bells Canyon...oddly enough the large paths above the roll overs did not slide...perhaps they are waiting for a trigger?
Last edited by TyeDyeTwins on Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:10 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby byates » Sun Jan 22, 2012 11:41 pm

Got out today up Mill D North, a lot of folks decided it was the place to play it safe. Skied lower Powder Park and then traversed to Short swing. One roll over on Short Swing slid yesterday skied past it to the north. Reynolds bowl had a very large slide on it, East Toms has a few smaller slides. Beartrap had a few uglies in it. One slope that I found a slide on 7 years ago, when I measured slope angle then it was only 26 degrees, pulled out again yesterday. Basically lower angle convex roll overs are collapsing. Anything you can't see completely over must be avoided! Otherwise a great powder day.
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Ed F » Mon Jan 23, 2012 9:07 pm

Really touchy out there yesterday in Mill D North. Shooting cracks, shaking trees, crazy stuff. Stayed on really low angle slopes. Anything approaching 32-33 degrees literally WILL slide right now with barely a human's weight.

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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Ed F » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:03 pm

1/24: Willow Fork. Great example of the 48 hour rule at work today compared to 1/22. Settlement of the new storm snow was pretty considerable, and it was much more difficult to get shooting cracks or Whoomphs. Bad news is that the buried persistent weak layer didn't get cleaned out in places that had slid, making for repeaters in the future. Looks like we've got some more snow on the way.

Skiing conditions were still great on low-angled slopes, bouncy and fun. South-facing slopes were getting cooked yesterday afternoon, so I'd expect a light crust in some spots. Still plenty of great powder out there in shady spots.

Snow!
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Still pretty thin.
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Good skiing in the meadows
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Phenom » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:52 am

Great skiing today after last night's storm, about 6 inches in the Twin Lakes Pass area. Did a quick one to the summit of Honeycomb Cliffs via Brighton and Twin Lakes. No one else was up there today. Loads of sun, very little wind. Perfect. There was a lot of avalanche control work from both sides of the mountain. I did notice evidence of an avalanche probably from several days ago just under the east side of the pass.

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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Sat Jan 28, 2012 3:03 am

Did a tour today with the old group. 1st official tour together since the accidents last year. Started at Spruces and skinned up Short Swing. While skinning up Short Swing we noticed a moose taking a rest on the opposite ridge of Mill D North. The tracks were along the summer trail making us think that perhaps the guy was cruising the skin track early this morning :?: From the summit we noticed a couple of fresh avalanches in Cardiff Fork's High Ivory and next to the Ivory Tower. According to the UAC they were "explosive triggered" by the Wasatch Powder Pigs....oh wait I must have meant powder birds :lol: . Each slide ran damn near to the end of thier paths and personally they piss me off when they feel the need to throw bombs out there. Guess there is no hope for a "bridging of the gap" for the snowpack up there. The Wizard of the Wasatch called it....guessing we are gonna see a lot more "stability testing" here in the near future :evil: .

We encountered a group of skiers at the top that had the same plans as us to drop into Bear Trap Fork. According to them they heard a large whoomph and then an avalanche occur somewhere in the distance. We did not hear/feel anything. Eventually an argument insued and well lets just say....I made some friends today :roll: . The sun was doing its thing on the east facing so we only skied half way down into Bear Trap and then skinned back up to the top of Short Swing. At 3pm we decended into Mill D North and called it a day. Never felt/heard a whoomph all day. Never pushed the angles over 32 degrees either. Overall it was nice to see the wasatch looking like winter again. Couple more storms and it will be time to hit the Oquirrhs!

A moose in Mill D North
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Troy skinning Short Swing
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This is a picture of the avalanches in Cardiff Fork
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An odd and old avalanche in Bear Trap Fork
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Troy skiing Bear Trap Fork
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Troy skiing Short Swing
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Ron splitboarding Short Swing
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Phenom » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:04 am

Killer pics TD's. I had one of the powderpigs do a flyover while I was up there today, at about 2:50 into the video below. Last year in January when I skinned up to the Cardiac Divide and booted 10,820 up there I was descending a nice somewhat exposed portion of the ridge and had one of those guys literally flyover probably about 100 feet above. The downdraft was disconcerting...

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