We started with flat light and some graupel, with a bit of wind heading up Greeley for a warm up and check of conditions.
Descent was Stonecrusher. By the time we got there winds had increased and we were pelted with the graupel pellets.
It was smooth as a babies bottom, skiing not the best, a little dense, but no one fell down so.. we went back around.
Winds increased, as did the pelting. Ever curious, with the hazard increasing, I thought the Gunsite chute would provide a little excitement and some learning.
We never made it as winds gusted into the 50s and scoured west facing along with slab build up forced an undercut.
We stuck with the lower angled, experienced some cracking with depths over a foot, skiing to the base of Greeley hill, where two of the party headed for the barn.
Another run would finish the day. Lone Pine it was to be.
We reached the top of High Boy in screeching winds and facing lacerating sideways graupel. Decision was a short descent and traverse would lead to the smoothness of Lone Pine.
I entered and as I had all day cut the slope from the top, slowly making my way across to the corner. A little bounce at the end. produced the first slide of the year.
My partner was unaware and I informed him of the result, also warning of hang fire remaining. He followed my track, triggering a bit of the hang fire.
With the slope now cleaned out and well aware of an active wind drift hazard, we followed the bed surface down, foregoing a run down Lone Pine, to discover the extent of the damage.
The slide ran all the way down to just barely above the upper cat track, expanding in places, with descent, to a width of around 60 feet by pulling out and fracturing snow on either side.
Thinking it best to inform authorities of some sort, we turned ourselves in to the Alta ski patrol, where Titus (head of snow safety) informed us, we'd spent the day wandering, when winds were gusting to 106 on Baldy.
I started at the upper parking at Alta and ascended Greeley hill continuing along the ridge to the corner of upper Greeley, traversed downward and crossed the Gunsite gully.
A couple of kick turns put me near the top of the skier's left section of Eddies High Nowhere for a descent.
I then ascended to the top of Albion followed the common route to the top of Rocky Point for a descent of the headwall. Ascended to Catherine's pass and along the Rocky Point ridge continuing up to the high saddle on Sunset for a descent.
I climbed back to Catherine”s and continued up the ridge past Tuscarora to the top of Wolverine, traversing around Patsy Marly and descended the north facing into
Grizzly Gulch following the sheltered trees route to the junction with the summer road descending back down the west facing to the upper parking at Alta.
Bluebird with cool temperatures.
The winds must have died down near the end of the storm as most aspects had a couple of inches of soft snow over the dense graupely layer produced from the strong winds yesterday. Near the ridges on several north faces I found the rime crust very close to the surface, but it disappeared under the last few inches down off the ridges. There were natural avalanches on Sunset Peak and on the peak behind the bowl, which is behind the Supreme lift in Dry Fork. Sorry I don't know the name. Both slides were north facing running from rocky starting zones down off the ridges and involving all snow down to the Friday rain crust. No other slides were noted.
The skiing is in the top few inches of snow and while it isn't the finest powder, the snow is dry enough for good consistent turns. I don't think a skier's weight is impacting the buried layers down to the Friday rain crust and no human triggered avalanches were noted.
Snow is mostly stable with plenty of volunteer stability testers out to confirm. I'd guess any lingering instabilities would be from cross loading in very steep terrain with a shallow snow cover and and easterly facing component.