December 19

Started at the upper parking at Alta ascending into Grizzly Gulch and across the west facing to the ridge of the east bowl of Silver fork. Descended from the shoulder two pitches to the main gully. Ascended into the west bowl drainage

continuing up the ridge and descending repeating for two laps.


Snow, heavy at times with winds from the west 10-20 mph. Temperatures warmer than yesterday.


There was perhaps 20 inches of snow over the snow surface prior to the most recent stormy period. The upper 6-8 inches is denser and the winds were stronger, so there is a distinct density inversion with associated cracking.

Fairly frequent collapsing was also experienced, but only walking the Silver fork ridge. There was a bit of sympathetic action also along the ridge consisting of a cornice fall a few yards distant.

The snow appeared stubborn and mostly just a density change rather than a slab over a weak layer as it's just recent snow under new snow.

Ascended and followed the ridge north to about the middle of the infamous Meadow chutes. Descended, continuing out Silver fork to the road.

Bottom Line:

Density changes within the new should settle quickly leaving the potential overloading of older faceted layering and some isolated active wind drifts the main hazard concerns at least until the sun appears and it warms up.

Shake out tour, first in a series, I hope, on the "Mondays are heli free" tours with the mountain club.


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