High avalanche danger today = hunting for dad pow in the Wasatch’s Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Connor and I went for a walk this morning in Mill D to go ride some white waves in low-angle terrain.
It was blistering cold.
The avalanche danger was high and the Utah Avalanche Center subsequently issued an Avalanche Warning which read:
Widespread avalanche activity is expected and the avalanche danger is HIGH. The avalanche warning is in effect until 6 a.m. MST Saturday for the mountains of Northern Utah including the Wasatch Range, Bear River Range, and Western Uinta Range. A rapid load of heavy snow combined with very strong winds and preexisting weaknesses in the snowpack have created dangerous avalanche conditions. Both human triggered and natural avalanches are likely. Stay off of and out from under slopes steeper than 30 degrees.
Describing today’s weather and snow, the UAC also shared:
A cold front came crashing through in the early morning hours and snowfall totals as of 6 am include 10-12″ in the Cottonwoods and 8″ along the Park City ridgeline. Winds have been blowing strong out of the south/southwest for the past 48+ hours and have now veered to the west/northwest. At upper elevations, winds are averaging in the 30’s mph and gusting into the 60’s mph. At mid elevations, winds are averaging in the teens and 20’s mph with gusts in the 30’s mph. Temperatures have dropped to the single digits and low teens F.
We weren’t touching avalanche terrain with a 10-foot pole today.
It was an excellent day to practice on my new powsurfer.
I managed to make some smooth turns in delicious, blower powder that floated like smoke.
It was only my third time ever riding the powsurfer and I only fell one time over the course of two laps.
That to me is a success.
By the bottom of the second lap, my brain was coursing with dopamine.
I had a massive smile on my face.
Feeling light and good, we surfed back to the car through silent old-growth aspens, passing by lots of powder-happy recreationists on the skin track.
Just another pow day in the Wasatch…