December 6

My friends from Montana came to town. Joe was here for knee surgery, hopefully he'll getta ski again.

Joined up with Fred for a while in Millcreek.

Hannah's here to ski.


Started at Terraces campground ascending Bowman trail to Yellow Jacket. We continued up Yellow jacket to the ridge, then followed the ridge south for a ways before descending the northwest facing to the upper flat. Ascended the same trail descending the northeast facing aspen trees in Alexander Basin continuing down and out to the road.


Snow heavy at times with strong winds from the north and west. Cool temperatures.


I'm guessing a foot of snow fell during the day and the day wasn't very long, because I lost a portion of one of my ski poles. Winds were loading the lee slopes and by the second ascent the cornice line was large enough and sensitive enough to provide small car sized cornice kicking. Unfortunately winds reduced visibility to a few feet. Results were as best could be seen sluffing of the new snow.

The sluffing was also the case ski cutting the steep aspens at the top of the north east facing Alexander with some of these packing a bit of punch.

Bottom Line:

Heavy snow and winds have once again increased the hazard and I'd suspect natural activity ran into older snow layering in places. I'd expect the new soft slabs to stabilized fairly quickly leaving the lingering and unanswered questions about most of the remaining slopes retaining faceted lower snow layering.

December 7


Started at lower Solitude ascending to Mill F east and then the trail to Willow and the top of West Monitor. Descended West Monitor and ascended the se facing back to the top descending Will's hill and continuing down to the meadow.

Ascended West Willow ridge to just below the summit of Dutches, running out of time, and descending Beartrap to the road.


There was about a foot of fresh snow somewhat inverted with slightly denser snow on the surface. This made trail breaking somewhat slow. South facing saw enough sun to add a zipper crust in isolated areas, otherwise, it will change tomorrow. There is evident wind affect along the upper ridges with pillows and wind rows, scouring and loading dependent on the aspect with winds predominantly from a north westerly direction. The winds did produce some active drifting, with a slide yesterday in West Monitor. There was also an older slide,

right next to it, probably from the weekend.

No other signs of instability. Cornice kicking produced sluffs, even with a large chunk and I experienced zero collapses


It was a bluebird with little wind and very cool temperatures.

The large and small version of skiing the Wasatch.


Bottom Line:

Snow is mostly stable with hazard limited to the wind loaded areas with a previously shallow snow pack. I would expect there are still some very large areas retaining potential for avalanche.



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