May 4

Upper Cardiff Fork via Alta

Elevations, slope angles and aspects:
8500’-11000’, angles to 38°, all aspects.

Avalanche activity:
Pockets of wind drifting in the morning up to 12”. Numerous point release sluffs, both natural and ski cut. Rollers from a short period of partial clearing.

Slopes skied:
Keyhole entry into upper Cardiff, Cardiac bowl from the summit of Superior, Little Superior buttress and south facing Cardiff bowl.

Snow surface and conditions:
4-6” of new snow over a refrozen old surface. New snow settled out leaving an aount of 2-4” by afternoon. South facing received enough heating to get soggy but, not enough to produce a crust. The new snow was of a medium density with several wind related changes within the layering causing some shot lived instabilities from drifting.

Overcast with fog and light snow periods. Winds from the south in the early morning, with speeds from 15-25 mph, decreasing during the day. Moderate temperatures.

The new snow and wind created localized areas of drifting. Those drifts were sensitive and bonding with the old surface was marginal. Settlement eliminated much of that. Another round of snow showers in the late afternoon will probably increase the likelihood of new instabilities. Because the old surface is a firm crust, I would expect a continuation of sluffing and shallow soft slab activity, packing more punch as snow amounts increase.
Clearing and daytime heating will produce widespread activity, with new snow sluffs and slides on the old surface.


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