November 19

Hearing about the slides on peak 10'420, I was curious about the snow conditions.


Park City ridges


Willow Heights to West Monitor, McDonalds and South Monitor



Slope Angles and Aspects:

Angles were up to about 40°. Aspects were northeast, northwest and west veering occasionally onto other aspects for short periods.

Avalanche Activity:

A friend informed me he'd almost triggered a slide on November 15th on West Monitor producing stress fractures, but no slide.

Tracks in the skier's right corner of West Monitor.

He'd also traversed into Short and sweet McDonalds eastern edge cracked out most of the bowl with no slide.We had a look at that, also.

Slopes skied with no slides:

Skier's right West Monitor, Short and Sweet and Skier's left side of South Monitor.

Snow Conditions:

Lower elevations and off aspects receiving sun had crusts which melted off during the sunny periods, recrusting in the shade.

Upper elevations had settled, recrstalized powder with small grained surface hoar untill it melted from daytime heating.

Weather Conditions:

Bluebird for most of the day. Occasional winds from the southwest along the upper elevation ridges.


West Monitor

Pit was dug in the upper stress fracture area of West Monitor in an attempt to find out the reason for the fracturing.

Zoomed view of lower layers in the snowpit.


The snow has received several days of warming resulting in good setlement. No cracking or collapsing was felt or observed. Melting is occuring at lower elevations and on the sun exposed off aspects. Snow pits and pole probing indicate lighter density snow overlying a one finger slab on the majority of the upper elevation shady. The base is damp large grained snow. Snowballs are easily made with this snow.

I think most of the tension has eased from the slab overlying weaker snow. Pit testing confirms this but the pit was in an area relieved of stress from fracturing. I'd guess increased stability from the settlement with potential of avalanche in isolated areas, mainly upper elevation shady. Those areas would likely have a wind slab overlying a shallow weak snow pack.