jan 7.html



Started at the lower Solitude parking area and ascended Willow Heights to the top of West Monitor Bowl. Descended the middle of the bowl using a previous sluff and cornice fall. Ascended the southeast facing to the ridge and descended Will’s Hill west facing to the flats

continuing a ways and ascended the West Willow ridge. Descended northeast facing off the ridge into Willow continuing out past the beaver ponds to Silver Lake lodge.


Bluebird to begin the day with gradually increasing winds and overcast with light snowfall beginning in the afternoon. Winds increased into the 20mph range during the day but could see they were much higher in the Cottonwoods from the pluming snow.


12 to 15 inches of light density snow over a soft base. There was evidence of widespread sluffing apparently during the storm yesterday and some sluffs entrained quite a bit of snow with possible soft slab fractures although no crowns remained visible.

Instabilities within new snow layering seemed settled out today with little evidence of new instability. Increasing winds were loading snow but at the time the mountains were exited that loading had produced little in the way of slab formation. I’d guess that changed as the winds continued.

Bottom Line:

Hazard would be related to wind load from the increasing winds of today. Could easily be some large and sensitive wind drifts with continued winds. I’d suspect isolated areas, most commonly slide paths, which ran during the December cycle could retain faceted snow under all the new and wind blown and there is some potential of triggering a deeper slide in those areas. Would not believe the faceting problem to be widespread and likely limited to previous slide paths.