Mt Emmons

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/31/2016
Name: Dave
Subject: Mt Emmons
Aspect: North, North East, North West
Elevation: 9000 -12,392

Avalanches:
Weather: Warm, Overcast, Clouds building throughout day. We got some sun holes. Calm winds with a couple of light gusts. had a 20 min periods of S1 snow around that did not seem to accumulate to much.
Snowpack: no signs of instability. The skiing was boot top deep and we did not feel an old layers below in the top bowl. I put in a couple of ski cuts when I dropped in but got no movement. Seems like the new snow has bonded well in this area.

Sluffs and variable persistent slab results

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/31/2016
Name: Zach Guy
Subject: Sluffs and variable persistent slab results
Aspect: North, North East
Elevation: 9,500-11,600

Avalanches: Skier triggered one D1 loose dry avalanche, which ran about 500 vertical feet, big enough to bury someone if it was in a gulley.
Weather: Few clouds this morning quickly built to overcast, then decreased to scattered. S-1 to S1 midday, with maybe an inch of total accumulation. Light valley winds from the west, calm winds elsewhere where we traveled.
Snowpack: 4″ of low density new snow over older settled powder; sluffing easily but no storm slab concerns. Dug 4 pits on northerly slopes and found a mix of propagating and non propagating results on the March 6 facet layer, 18″ to 3 ft deep. Structure was most concerning mid slope near treeline, 500-1000 ft below the windloaded ridgeline, where the slab thinned but was still stiff enough for propagation.
1.) BTL N aspect: 45 cm slab over 1mm rounding facets; no distinct hardness change and no results ECTs
2 & 3.) NTL N and NTL NE (tree shaded) at windloaded ridgeline. 90-100 cm slab (4F+ or 1F-), over 4F-, 1-1.5mm rounding facets. Hard ECTN results and SC Compression test results.
4.) NTL NE, midslope. 4F+ 60 cm slab over F+ rounding facets on an almost in-perceivable faceted crust. ECTP14, SC results. See photo.

Propagating extended column test results on a NE aspect NTL

Propagating extended column test results on a NE aspect NTL

Coney’s

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/30/2016
Name: Dave
Subject: Coney’s
Aspect: East
Elevation: 9,500-10,700

Avalanches:

Weather: Warm, partly cloudy with with periods of strong sun, light winds had a couple periods of S1 – S2 snow that did not seem to accumulate to much when we where out there. Visibility went in & out throughout day. Wish I put sun screen on for a 2nd time. Felt like a lot of green house effect.

Snowpack: New storm snow 2 – 3 in, no signs of instability. Skin track is still in good shape.

4″ new, no instabilities

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 03/30/2016
Name: Zach Guy
Subject: 4″ new, no instabilities
Aspect: South East, South, South West, West
Elevation: 10,000-12,000

Avalanches: Some brief views of southern Ruby Range and Scarp Ridge, with no recent avalanches.

Weather: Overcast and broken skies, Periods of S-1 to S1, with 2″ of accumulation through the day. Calm winds in the morning increased to moderate with stronger gusts by the afternoon, variable directions but generally SW. Light snow transport in the PM. S3 at the end of the day.

Snowpack: 3-4″ of creamy storm snow, with minimal signs of wind drifting at all elevations. Fell on thick, supportive crusts on ESE to SW aspects, and settled powder on due west. No signs of instability.

Climax slide photos

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/28/2016
Name: Zach Guy
Subject: Climax slide photos
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 10,850 ft

Avalanches: Photos of Climax Chutes near miss below.  The crown is on an ENE aspect wrapping to NE at roughly 10,850 ft.  You could clearly see a dust layer on the bedsurface of a large soft slab, roughly 2 feet deep. (Probably failed on the March 6 crust/facet layer), and the slide stepped down to the ground further down slope, which wasn’t a whole lot deeper on this path, due to numerous slides already this season. From my limited vantage point, I’d rate the slide: SS-ASu-R3-D2.5-O/G
Weather:
Snowpack:

3/28. Skier triggered persistent slab in Climax Chutes. NE aspect NTL

3/28. Skier triggered persistent slab in Climax Chutes. NE aspect NTL

Debris washed over cliff bands near the runout

Debris washed over cliff bands near the runout

3/28. Near miss in Climax Chutes

3/28. Near miss in Climax Chutes

Near Miss Climax Chutes

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 03/28/2016
Name: Kim Carroll Bosler
Subject:
Aspect: North, North East
Elevation: 9000?

Avalanches: At 11:05 am I watched a good size avalanche rip from Climax Chutes (I think- I’m not a backcountry skier) as I was skate skiing on Mike’s Mile almost directly below the point of release. Luckily, it landed in a bowl and did not proceed up the bowl’s incline and on down to the valley floor where I was. Just a minute or two later a much smaller avalanche let go on a neighboring smaller chute. About 20 minutes later, as I was with other Nordic skiers calling out trying to determine if people were in trouble, we saw three people descend the ridge. Eventually the one skier and two snowboarders who had triggered the slide came out safely. Close call.
Weather: Sunny and warm.
Snowpack: Sun crust turning slushy.

Climax Chutes

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/28/2016
Name:
Subject: Climax Chutes
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 11,100′

Avalanches: R3-D3 avalanche sympathetically released 300′ above skier. Partner in safe zone felt a collapse as skier crossed gully from SE to NE aspect, likely at a shallow area around willows. Partners in safe zones were able to notify skier before he was caught. Take home point- don’t hoot and hollor when your friend is getting sweet face shots, it may be hard to distinguish from “AVALANCHE!”. It was super hard to see the crown as we didn’t see it from our safe zone and couldn’t see it until we looked back up from the Nordic trail at valley bottom. Best guess would be 18″ crown stepping down to the ground in some spots. I gave it the r3d3 because it ran 9/10ths of it’s path starting 300′ from the ridge and running ~2200′ entrenching an impressive amount of snow on the way and spilling over a cliff at the bottom. Probably about 200′ wide jagged crown, in the trees, quickly narrowing to the 25′ width of the chute it self. The first skier watching from the safe zone yelled to me, I looked up from my safe zone and saw the powder cloud and was able to yell to the man skiing. He pulled out to the right just in time…no big deal until we realized we weren’t in the exact shot we thought we were in and if he had taken the ride over the cliff face he wouldn’t have had much of a chance. I was thinking more d2 but it would have crushed a car for sure.  We made several decisions prior that kept us safest in the event of the worst BUT 1) I’m no longer gonna shoot with glee when face shots are had and save shouting for emergency situations only and 2) take way more photos before dropping into an area that’s new to me
Weather: Partly cloudy, no precip, temp in the 30’s, light winds out of the S/SW
Snowpack:

Baxter Basin Avalanches

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 03/27/2016
Name: Ian Havlick
Subject: Baxter Basin Avalanches
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South
Elevation: 9-11500

Avalanches: Numerous slabs littered across N-NE-N facing slopes in steep terrain. Some triggered by dry loose sluffing and pulling out slabs 1-2ft deep on steeper convex rollovers, some very widely propagating slabs off Axtell in 3rd bowl. Some Wet loose out of steep east facing slopes near and above treeline.
Weather: Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 03/27/2016
Name: Ian Havlick
Subject: Baxter Basin Avalanches

Scattered clouds, strong solar, light SW winds with moderate gusts at times. Strong Winds visible at ridgetop. New snow ranged between 10-30cm depending on aspect.
Snowpack: Moist 10cm of new snow above last March 24th crust on southerly facing slopes, on northerly slopes snow remained cold and about 30cm above March 24th crust. 60-80cm total on top of dirty, stout Feb 18th dust layer. No signs of instability under sled. Moderate wind transport on high ridgelines from SW. Cinnamon, Peeler, Schuykill Peak.

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Schuylkill Avalanche incident

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 03/27/2016
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Schuylkill Avalanche incident overview
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: 11,200ft NTL

Avalanches: See Video.

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Test Resuts.001

Facetted grains on top of the 3/6th melt freeze crust

Facetted grains on top of a melt freeze crust was the weak layer in this incident.