The Joys of Meadow Skipping

By:  Ben
November 15, 2011 2:52 am | Category: Quick Update, Skiing

It finally started snowing in Utah. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the snow is falling on a pretty rotten layer left over from the great early October Storm. Powder that brought huge, uncontrollable giddy grins to our faces a month ago is turning on us with a vengeance. It’s easy to get caught up with powder fever with all the new snow around, but avalanches don’t care that it’s not December yet.

This is the problem. The fracture from a tiny test slope we set off on Saturday

Fortunately, there are plenty of meadows to skip. The low angle trees have been skiing great, and there’s no shortage of snow. Look back here later this week for a full trip report, but here are some pictures from the past few days.

Tom showing that you can get deep even on rocker in wind slab

The faceshot machine got turned up to 11 on Metal Day and seems stuck there.

By late Sunday afternoon we finally started to get our first view of the Wasatch's new blanket

Tom "Meadow Slayer" Collier

Finally, a little snowpack beta – we toured up Grizzly Gulch Monday morning and dug a pit on a low angle, north facing slope near Twin Lakes Pass. The new snow had stiffened up overnight into a solid wind slab about 15″ deep, resting on top of a rotten layer of old snow. There is a bit of upside down layering within the wind slab from the different stages of the storm, but the old snow is by far the more worrisome layer. We performed an extend column test and observed a Q1 failure on 14. Some pictures:

The very clean shear

Enjoy the new snow, but stay safe out there! It’s a long season, and we’ve already had one tragic avalanche fatality. Let’s not rush the next one. RIP Jaime Pierre.

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  1. I'm_a_crappy_skier
    wrote on November 15th, 2011 at 9:45 am  

    Intelligent and fun! You guys give skiers a good name. I read some scary-dumb behaivor stuff going on at Alta recently. Prayers to J Pierre’s family.

  2. MadPatSki
    wrote on November 15th, 2011 at 2:11 pm  

    Thanks for the post and for playing safe.

    Condolences to Jamie’s wife and kids + family and friends.

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