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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:43 pm
Posts: 870
Deep for sure. :headbang: The classic Wasatch 5%. You guys are making me jones some aspen shredding, Doug you going to show me around your secret stashes over this Christmas break????Would love to get out, cool video.
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Quote:
how do you objectively test the bridging capacity of a snow layer over a weak layer?


I think the only true test is time and weight. I didn't dig around today, rode NE facing upper elevation stuff. snow was the white smoke, winds seemed to stay mellow last night but were picking up around midday from the S. Found a small pocket on a little roll over feature just off the ridge NE facing but it just sluffavalanched out. Got a couple collapses in the flats. Pretty much just plowed my way around today. Take care.


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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:57 am 
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Way to get after it dudes!
Nic, I'd be super stoked to share me tree stashes with you brother, but I've decided that for the sake of my riding longevity I'm going to keep my skinning angles 10-12° or lower. Not that I'll be riding those angles, but the up seems to be taking a significant toll on my knees (much as the descent does in trail running). Potential partners beware, days with me will be long and slow. :? BTW I only have the 24th and 26th off work.

Bowman Fork to Yellow Jacket Gulch 5900' to 8700'

Approach/Exit was skiable top to bottom from the MC road, although flip flopper exposed rocks and ice made the out-ski a hair raising experience for this; not-a-skier-dude. All in all, I skin-skied 3.5 miles and 2000' and didn't crash once. Bowman trail exit is not for the faint of heart. :shock:

The snow was deep above White Fir Pass, specifically on direct West facing and trail breaking was ridiculous. Sadly, the only snow underlying the new snow was about 3" of dirty, sugar shit ice, making for punchy brushy, timber skipping. Oh and I'm currently rolling without climbing wires. :nononno:

Over the course of the seven mile round trip I only found one place to ride that seemed safe, as the zone midway up YJG was unfamiliar to me and it was snowing sideways. I also noted lots of naturals hanging above and to the west of my location on east and northeast facing open terrain. Because of this I chose to ride a nice little meadow shot before returning to ski mode for the long exit, sadly the 20°-ish slope and 18" snow made it impossible to get going on the 176cm. Sure wished I'd brought one a them Burton 158 spliffs. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: It was also sketchy because of the light snow, no base and lots of hidden timber.

Anyhow, once the new snow settles, this area should have a good base; be super fun and allow for more appealing alternate exits. On the upside I actually learned to downhill kick turn by ski descending my skin track, but my bad knees took a brutal beating. Looking forward to breaking out Big Bird (195cm) in the coming weeks.

A few scenics
Looking northwest towards the city, Grandeur Peak through the trees
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A couple less daunting parts of lower Bowman trail
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Up high it was windy
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In case you don't get enough skinning and skiing :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:34 am 
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mar123 wrote:
Although I dont think this is very representative of the windboard/crust's actual strength in supporting the new snow, meaning that it was probably more stable than the tests indicated, but because by isolating that windboard layer into a square column you significantly weaken it....right? how do you objectively test the bridging capacity of a snow layer over a weak layer? anyways all signs said no go.


You are correct. A compression test does not asses the strength of the slab, rather the strength of the weak layer. An ECT also does not significantly address the issue of slab strength with regards to bridging. It does show you how fragile the weak layer is and if there is a slab which can propagate. Bridging is a product of a spatialy variable slab as well as anchor and slope configuration. Spatial variability is a big issue and I would be very cautious about using a very limited set of information from a limited sample snow pit(s) to lock in my beliefs about a slopes safety or ability to bridge. The slope configuration aspect is incredibly complex and I believe even with access to powerful computer modeling it would be difficult to reach objective results. I'm personally very suspicious of anyone using a bridging argument in favor of "go".

To answer the original question though I do believe bridge strength is objectively incorporated in the 5 lemon snowpack model with criteria of a weak layer within the top meter of the snowpack. This assumes your snow pit is in an appropriately sensitive and shallow location.


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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Quote:
how do you objectively test the bridging capacity of a snow layer over a weak layer?


I'd say that is a faith-based question, not an objective pursuit, and your "No-go" was right on.

It could also be rephrased as:

How do I avoid the thin spot in the slab (that varies in depth to a large degree) where my weight will break the weak layer and pull the whole slope off?

Seriously, A hard slab could be held up from the slab downhill at a lower angle or by connected areas that are bonded to the base or by trees and rocks, so there is no way to ever measure its strength because you don't know where or if it is really connected to anything or how thick it is everywhere. It could just as much just be sitting there on the champagne glasses. First avalanche I ever saw was 12 feet deep 1000 ft wide on a moderate hazard day. Bridges are for crossing creeks.


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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:19 pm 
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^^^thanks for the feedback, def. agree with what has been said.

I guess I wouldn't consider a snow slab to be trustworthy of bridging an instability. Im thinking it would have to be some sort of stout ice layer/crust to be considered trustworthy, like when your edging across a slope and the new snow pushes out and your still standing on the windboard/crust without it breaking. But there are so many other factors to consider as well...I'll shut up now :D

"Bridges are for crossing creeks."...or crevasses :D ...dont have much experience with glacier travel here in the Wasatch, seems scary

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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:37 pm 
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I went up to Bear Fork Trees this afternoon, pleasantly surprised to have to put in a fresh skinner that late in the day. I got audible collapsing from the raincrust/facets about 2 feet down, including one time I heard it propagate out a-ways, in stages over a couple seconds, on 30 degree slopes. So I'd be wary of the steeper slopes. Moderate flurries. Fabulous powder riding on right-side-up snow. Great to get out. Thanks for the chatter on this thread yall, hope to see you soon!

Also if anyone wants to get out riding tomorrow, hit me up!


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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:42 pm 
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Location: Wasatch
buckchow wrote:
I went up to Bear Fork Trees this afternoon, pleasantly surprised to have to put in a fresh skinner that late in the day. I got audible collapsing from the raincrust/facets about 2 feet down, including one time I heard it propagate out a-ways, in stages over a couple seconds, on 30 degree slopes. So I'd be wary of the steeper slopes. Moderate flurries. Fabulous powder riding on right-side-up snow. Great to get out. Thanks for the chatter on this thread yall, hope to see you soon!

Also if anyone wants to get out riding tomorrow, hit me up!


Glad you still got out. Sorry I had to bail on you. I did however watch a full season of hells kitchen all in one day and drink a bottle of nyquil. That's kind of like riding powder right?? #havingtheflusucks

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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Days...1
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Met a bunch of people in Days today...always nice to have some people about when rolling solo...(Trent, pow turn)
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beautiful work
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South facing was still holding nice powder on the exit at about 1pm

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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:43 pm 
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damn seems pretty bold for our snowpack? any signs of instability on that north facing days?

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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:25 pm 
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Despite admiring lots of peoples lines, that admiration rarely turns to envy. This is definitely an exception, I really hate those people :wink:
mar123 wrote:
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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:59 pm 
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^ha!...I might envy them if they dropped from the ridge :D ....still don't understand why nobody ever goes all the way up? Anywho, it's amazing to look at

no instabilities noticed today

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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:00 pm 
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There was a deep slab in Dutches Draw today that the victims were lucky to survive unscathed. Similar slope to Upper Days or Cardiff. You might make the argument that Days and Cardiff don't have the same structure due to a little extra elevation and snowpack, but I don't think I'd be willing to bet on it.


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 Post subject: Re: UTAH 2012-13 Conditions
PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:34 pm 
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They probably didn't go up to the top because they knew if they did they would probably find an avalanche. I don't get why those those two guys put that last little turn in to get 2-3 more turns. Reminds of that "Twelve more turns" movie. I agree though that line really is only worth it off the top, I would much rather go down the other side.

It was cold last night, Mar123 I'm wondering how the snow was feeling. Has it had a chance to really set up down off the ridges?


^^^^^^mej, posting at the same time :drinks: I haven't been that low all year but I found the crust to be more stout down low in upper LCC and more breakable the higher I got. That was two weeks ago, S facing so not that it matters. One thing I've learned about the Wasatch is there are a lot of sick dudes in the Wasatch who know what their doing BUT are perfectly ok taking risks, especially in places they frequent often. My point is my risk factor is not the same as those dudes. Purdy for sure.


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