Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wasatch Current Conditions: December 15, 2012

A few words about the current situation in the Wasatch Backcountry by American Avalanche Institute instructor Jake Hutchinson:

"As the snow begins to pile up in the Wasatch the skiing just keeps getting better-- while the avalanche stability just gets trickier. Yesterday, the storm snow and wind slab problems were fairly easy to identify and manage although the speed of these slides may be problematic. The Persistent slab problem is the tricky one. A variety of faceted layers lie buried near a variety of crusts (very elevation and aspect dependent). These layers are producing a variety of test results and a few concerning avalanches here and there. This is a case where stability tests may give a false sense of security and the poor snowpack structure demands respect and attention. Keeping the big picture in mind, paying attention to what has been going on on similar slopes and not ignoring cracking, collapsing and avalanches are key. With another big storm knocking on the door, keeping the slope angles down and managing your terrain will be key in the coming days."

Check out Jake's video in a pit on the Park City Ridgeline:

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