VIDEO: Pockets of Super High Instability in Utah’s Snowpack Right Now

AvyBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche

In this video from Utah yesterday, the snowpack fails while cutting out an Extended Column Test.  That means the snowpack is very unstable right now as they weren’t even able to finish cutting out the block for the test.  This is a no go, go home, stay out of the backcountry situation.

AAI instructor Emilie Drinkwater sent us this great observation from a climb in Broads Fork:

This was from a NNW aspect at about 10,000′ in Broads Fork. The snowpack was shallow, <1m, but there was some pretty distinct, sensitive windslab, almost knife hard, sitting on what I think were small facets. This was the second ECT we did with identical results (hence the terrible looking face of the column as it was just done to confirm the first result).
We were on a climbing mission and not really set up to dig pits but I’ve rarely seen a failure during isolation so I thought this was interesting.

Utah Avalanche Center

Avalanche danger is rated as “Moderate” in Utah today.  Clearly, there are pockets of higher danger.

image: utah avalanche center, today
YELLOW = Moderate.  image: utah avalanche center, today

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