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Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

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Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:07 am

CALLING ALL UTAHN'S.........
2 years ago Ed F created a wonderful and very useful thread entitled "Wasatch Avalanche Conditions". This thread is much like the thread 2 years ago and last years thread. Anyone should feel free to contribute, regardless of the depth of their avalanche knowledge. More information is better than less information. Also this thread should be avalanche and snow conditions oriented, not for trip reports and trip planning ect.....

This thread is should provide field observations that do not have to be confined to the Wasatch Range only. The Uintas, La Sals, Tushars, Oquirrhs, Wasatch Ranges ect.... are all fair game. These mountain ranges have limited avalanche forecast information (if any) and see only a handful of visitors a year. However there are a select few who go and venture out to these remote places, so any information of what the snowpack/conditions are like would be more than useful.

THIS THREAD IS A WORK IN PROGESS. IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEA'S OR SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO IMPROVE THIS THREAD PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby lcarreau » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:24 am

Don't live in Utah, but I'm glad to see this important information being collected, as it COULD save a life.

Arizona got 10"-12" of new snow above Flagstaff, so that COULD satisfy a few die-hard skiers during the upcoming Holidays.

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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Mon Nov 07, 2011 1:48 am

Being the actual Twin of the "Tye Dye Twins user" I had the opprotunity to ski twice this year after my terrible Knee injury last year in Cardiff Fork while backcountry skiing. Tye Dye Twins user is still out of commission for skiing on his knee until he sees the surgeon (with me as well) on Nov. 16th.

So far so good out there! I have seen roller ball sluffs on east facing slopes last wednesday on Timp, Box Elder, and the American Fork Twins. This was all before our current storm this weekend. I hit Alta ski area today and got a real look at the snow pack. On West Facing hills the snow coverage was a dismal 6 inches at best. Only one sluff was spotted off of Mt.Baldy on the dog leg chute. It was a natural sluff. Very un-concerning but a sign of instability nonetheless. No snow pits were dug as the snow was very shallow where I was and besides it would most likely not represent anything as skier compaction has probably occurred before, during, and after the storm. I would say things are quite safe.......for now. Still keep an eye out on slopes with previous snowpack on them in the higher terrain. Once the snow really starts to fly things (as usual here in the wasatch) will get more interesting. Here are the pics!

The mini sluff on Mt. Baldy
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Me skiing my 1st run after the knee injury from last year! 1 of the tye dye twins are back BABY!!!
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Like the knee injury never happend!
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Ammon Hatch » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:32 am

I won't be adding a lot to this thread, but I'll definitely be lurking. Thanks for your posts!
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby lcarreau » Sat Nov 12, 2011 2:52 am

"It's always better to be a LURKER than a JERKER."

Glad to see the TWINS tearing down those slopes and posting information once again.

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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:28 am

Went to Alta ski area today to dig a pit and ski Ballroom on Mt. Baldy. Ski patrol informed me at the base of ballroom that my trour group of 3 must turn around imeadiatley and that we can only take the groomer down. There were 3 reported slides by that time on Gunsight, Stonecrusher, and Baldy. One of the slides injured a skier badly enough to reqiure ski patrol rescue. According to the patroler the slide on Stonecrusher reached corkscrew. I skied by it and there were not debris that far down the slide path. The patroller also told us that there were slides up to 3.5 feet deep and that some were to the ground.

According to a friend in the parking lot his trour group was taking a rest in the trees near by and they witnessed a powder cloud traveling by at stonecrusher. There was a small slide at the homes near superior that was triggerd by snow removal on a north facing slope. That was my tours party 1st sign today that things were touchy. We decided today was going to be the 1st avy savy day to have all of our gear ready.
On our way down we saw that a test slope had triggerd by a skier below Stonecrusher
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Stonecrusher with a good sized avalanche, skier triggerd with crown and flanks visible as well as the start of the debris pile!
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:23 am

Skier fatality ocurred at Snowbird today as well. The avalanche was on a Northwest slope in the Gad Valley area.
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Sat Nov 19, 2011 7:07 am

So my twin and I drove up LCC to see the slide actvity on Wednesday. Slides were everywhere on North facing slopes above 8,000 feet in Alta's Mt. Baldy and Snowbird's Cirque. Here is a shot of the SCARY slide activity at snowbird.

Multiple slides can be seen! Various triggers too.
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Phenom » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:33 am

Glad you guys are back at it Tyedye's. Anyone been up there lately over the past week or so? Curious about the snow depth, any good lines, ...etc.
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Deb » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:40 am

Going to be skiing at Brian Head for the first time. Any info on off piste areas there? I'll be watching this thread for avy info as well. Thanks!
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:19 am

Went for the 1st official ski tour and ice fishing combo . We hit Red Pine up to the lake with a buddy. There was surface hoar everywhere, the southerly aspects were crusted by the end of the day, and there was wind packing evident in lots of places. The coverage near the top of the fork was anywhere from 20-30 inches. The trail coverage out of Red Pine was full of rocks and stumps. Once you reach White Pine though the trail conditions were very pleasent and filled in. There were VERY FEW natural mini sluffs present on the west aspects. Too bad once the snow flies so will the slides!

Ice was 16 inches thick by the way, more than enough to walk on, I wouldn't worry anymore about walking on lakes and ponds in the Wasatch. Lets just say the fishing is better than the skiing for now in Red Pine Fork.

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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Phenom » Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:26 am

Cool TD, I've been wondering what the conditions were like up in the Red and White Pine areas.

Went for a brief tour up over Patsy, Wolverine and Tuscarora yesterday. Rocks, rocks, and more rocks... Ended up packing the skis and booting some of the ridge. Very much looking forward for a nice big storm to help both the conditions up there and clear all this lousy air in the valley.

Did I mention rocks? From the top of Wolverine...

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Half drained and frozen Lake Mary:

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Millicent from Mary:

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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Ed F » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:36 am

TyeDyeTwins: Thanks for starting this thread up again this year. Glad you guys are getting healthy, but it's a good year to be hurt...

1/8/12:
I toured from Alta parking up to Twin Lakes Pass and skied a bit along the northerly-facing stuff along Patsy. We managed to avoid rocks by some minor miracle and some soft-footed skiing. To be honest, I expected much worse and the snow had filled in up to about 7" in that area. The wind was blowing pretty hard and ridgelines were pretty scoured, as well as anything higher up and exposed. The new snow was light density and sluffed a bit while setting a skinner or skiing steeper slopes.

South-facing stuff is looking pretty bare:

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They may not be our usual Wasatch powder turns, but they ARE powder turns:

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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby TyeDyeTwins » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:52 am

Good to see you got out there. We went up to Lake Mary just a week ago and could not believe how many rocks there were! Went up to Snowbird today and I gotta admit...there is usually more snow by late november. I'd imagine this thread will get going once the white stuff starts to fly.....THIS WINTER IS SERIOUSLY LACKING SNOW!!!!!!!!!!! To afraid to hit rocks with the new knees so we are just waiting....and waiting.....and waiting....Latest forecast is calling for sunny skies till the end of January. Oh...say it aint so! Thanks for posting.
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Re: Utah Avalanche Conditions 2011-2012

Postby Ed F » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:53 pm

TyeDyeTwins wrote:Good to see you got out there. We went up to Lake Mary just a week ago and could not believe how many rocks there were! Went up to Snowbird today and I gotta admit...there is usually more snow by late november. I'd imagine this thread will get going once the white stuff starts to fly.....THIS WINTER IS SERIOUSLY LACKING SNOW!!!!!!!!!!! To afraid to hit rocks with the new knees so we are just waiting....and waiting.....and waiting....Latest forecast is calling for sunny skies till the end of January. Oh...say it aint so! Thanks for posting.


Yeah, we've been watching the long range models and it isn't pretty. What a winter... I'm sure the snow will come eventually, but it's mid-January now and we really have no base yet! Like you said, those rocks and limbs are VERY close to the snow surface (if they're buried at all). My old knees don't want to hit them, either. Some days I feel like we should just get out and skin, but now I'm paranoid about getting hurt before the snow actually does fall.

LET IT SNOW!!!
Last edited by Ed F on Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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