Good Spring Conditions

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 04/15/2017
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Good Spring Conditions
Aspect: South
Elevation: 10,800-12,600

Avalanches: Some very small and slow running loose wet avalanches on slopes over 40 degrees in steepness.
Weather: Big and blue. Light westerly winds at ridgeline.
Snowpack: At 12,500ft the upper snowpack was made up of several crusts merged together to form last nights freeze down to 25cms. Percolation Columns extended below this depth into 4F- melt forms to an observed depth of 40cms.

Boot pen was about 10 to 15cms at 11am with some punching through the upper crust. Current high temperatures and solar gain plus light alpine winds didn’t allow snow surfaces to weaken beyond this at upper elevations. While lower elevations traveled, were much further along in the spring transition and stayed supportable through the end of our day at 2pm.

Minimal Avalanche Issues

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/11/2017
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Minimal Avalanche Issues
Aspect: North East, East, South East
Elevation: 11,600-12,950

Avalanches: Plenty of old loose wet avalanches to be viewed. Mostly D1.5 or smaller in size at near and above treeline elevations on northeast to south to west aspects. All this activity looks to have happened previous to last weekend. Very little activity to be viewed below treeline.
Weather: Clear sky in the morning increased through the day becoming overcast by 2pm. Mostly calm to light winds at ridgeline.
Snowpack: Minimal avalanche issues observed. Didn’t encounter a loose wet concern. Isolated wind drifts up to 20cm’s deep were mostly unreactive.

Northeast: The northerly end of the aspect spectrum is staying dry, while the easterly end of the spectrum was warmed and produced some loose wet activity last Friday 4/7. These snow surfaces stayed dry today and sluffing was minimal. Last weekend storm snow was drifted to 20cm’s thick right near ridgeline with some stubborn cracking to 10ft, but no other results.

Southeast: Below 11,500ft the upper snowpack has made a nice transition to spring conditions and typical corn cycle setup. Above that elevation is still transitional. Boot pen is about 15cm-20cms deep breaking through the surface crust while frozen in the morning. Some portions of the slope are cross loaded to 20cms deep by last weekends storm with a ski supportable surface crust on top. While other portions of the slope are tinted brown, and blown down to the 4/7 interface. The 4/7 interface was also breakable to boots into colder snow below while supportable to skis. This surfaces warmed up in the afternoon with 5cm or so ski pen.

East 11,800-12,200: Hot, but not a mess. I don’t know if I like hot messes, but I know I don’t like just hot all-a-cart. Sweaty. Mostly traveled near ridgeline where last weekends new snow was baked in, and non problematic. Moist snow surfaces but no loose wet concerns.

Loose Wet Moving To Northerly Slopes

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/07/2017
Name: Evan Ross, Than (President) Acuff
Subject: Loose Wet Moving To Northerly Slopes
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 9,500-11,500

Avalanches: Skier triggered several small loose wet avalanches on northeasterly slopes from above treeline to below treeline elevations.

Plenty of loose wet activity to be viewed, from over the last couple days, on easterly aspects. Now extending into northeasterly aspects today with roller balls on some northerly slopes.
Weather: Increasing clouds becoming overcast in the afternoon. These clouds helped trap incoming solar radiation and produce a green housing effect. Gusty moderate winds at ridgeline.
Snowpack: Wet avalanche problem encroaching on northerly aspects. True north still staying dry, but anything with a slight easterly tilt was in the cold to moist transition on the snow surface.

Occasional snow plumes off some high peaks, but nothing that looked to be loading lee slopes.

Skier triggered small loose wet avalanches on northeasterly NTL slope overlapping some older natural loose wet avalanches from a more easterly tilted slope.

Small Loose Wet Avalanches

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/06/2017
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Small loose wet
Aspect: North East, East, South, West
Elevation:

Avalanches: Viewing a large portion of the range in the Mt baldy area, no recent slab avalanches were observed.

Lots of loose wet avalanches could be seen. These all looked to be D1.5s or smaller. These loose wet avalanches were most widespread on easterly and south easterly steep slopes at near and above treeline elevations.
Weather: Mostly clear sky. Calm wind through most of the day with a light westerly breeze at ridgline in the afternoon. Didn’t feel significantly hot in the alpine, but didn’t take any actual temperatures.
Snowpack: Last weeks storm snow has settled to about 5-10cm’s on a northeast slope at 11,300ft and about 1-3cm’s on the southern half of the compass at all elevations. These past storm accumulations were deeper on cross loaded terrain features and the lee sides of ridge lines.

Lots of steep skiing going on by the public today, or recently. Gothic Spoon, East Mineral, East Richmond, Redwell, Wolverine, Whetstone M Face to name a few. Some skier triggered loose snow avalanches on these lines, but all activity looked small, relative to the large terrain.

Typical size of observed wet avalanches. Larger terrain produced larger debris piles. Easterly aspect Mt Baldy.

Carbon

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 04/05/2017
Name: Cam Smith
Subject: Carbon
Aspect: South
Elevation: 10,000-12,000 ft

Avalanches: N/A
Weather: Clear. Warmer than the nearby Irwin weather station was showing. About 20 degrees in the valley at 0730. Winds from the northwest around 10-15mph blowing the little bit of snow still available for transport.
Snowpack: Below and near treeline holding 2-3 inches of blown snow. Above treeline was wind scoured on the ridges and about an inch of blown snow in cross loaded features. That inch of snow was poorly bonded to the spring crust but harmless because of its depth. More heavily loaded features would have been enough to knock a skier off their feet in the same situation.

Cascade/Baxter

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/04/2017
Name: Ian havlick
Subject: Cascade/Baxter
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9000-12800

Avalanches: Increasing storm and windslabs instability toward mid afternoon with heavy snow. Triggered several small wind pockets on crossloaded east facing NTL on descent below cascade. Numerous dry loose D.5 skiffs off steep terrain isolated to newest 3″ storm snow.
Weather: Overcast, with shadows quickly becoming heavy snow (S3+) around 12:30. Mild temps and light NE winds which then moved to NW wind with snow.
Snowpack: Extensive collapsing of 4/2 crust underfoot, with a few larger whoops extending 30-40ft below 11k. Spooky, wet slab feeling snow on east facing N/BTL. New snow has been insulating and rotting snow. Boot pen was 3ft. Above 11k, snow was much colder and more solid. Minor reverse loading on cascade ridgeline from NE winds. Dig on north faving, about 1m above march crust, a few minor crust/wind stiffened layers but relatively rightside up other increasing density the deeper you go.

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Anthracites lap

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 04/04/2017
Name: Ben Pritchett
Subject: Anthracites lap
Aspect: North, North East, East, South
Elevation: 10,000′-11,500′

Avalanches: Triggered 5x D1 to 1.5 soft slabs on Northeast to east slopes. 4-5″ deep. Touchy on terrain >40 degrees, propagating up to 50′ wide. (sorry no photos of these small avalanches)
Weather: Spits of S1 all day, but not much accumulation. Gusty Northwest winds transported snow all day.
Snowpack: Northerly slopes facing the wind were soft wind buff. Northeast to east aspects held the most new snow, particularly in drifted features like gully entrances or behind rows of trees. Sunny slopes had been cooked Monday afternoon, so while the cornices were growing above south facing terrain, we observed very limited wind slab development on southerly slopes.

Cornice block dropped on South aspect, producing no results.
Tiny wind lens behind a row of trees indicating the depth of the wind slab problem.  When triggered in larger features, these propagated up to 50′ wide.

Irwin Tenure

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 04/03/2017
Name: Irwin Guides
Subject: Irwin Tenure
Aspect: South, South West, West
Elevation: 10,000-12,000

Avalanches: Travelled very little avalanche terrain today. Some rollerballs on west facing late afternoon (farout). no obvioud wet loose or windslabs observed in our terrain or surrounding backcountry.
Weather: Clear skies transitioned to obscured by lunch time. NO significant snow accumulations during the day but s1 snow at 1645. Light westerly winds at ridgetop at 1600. High temperature of 31 at study plot, low 20s at 12,000ft.
Snowpack: Snow stayed cold above 11,300, N/BTL treeline snow become gloppy, slow, heavy. 5″ new, some dry loose on west facing in afternoon, somewhat poor bonding on April 2nd crust with this new snow. Did observe light windloading from WSW winds loading near ridgeline on Scarp.

Irwin Tenure

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 04/03/2017
Name: Irwin Guides
Subject: Irwin Tenure
Aspect: South, West
Elevation: 10,000-12,000

Avalanches: Travelled very little avalanche terrain today. Some rollerballs on west facing late afternoon (farout). no obvioud wet loose or windslabs observed in our terrain or surrounding backcountry.
Weather: Avalanche observations:

Snowpack observations:

Clear skies transitioned to obscured by lunch time. NO significant snow accumulations during the day but s1 snow at 1645. Light westerly winds at ridgetop at 1600. High temperature of 31 at study plot, low 20s at 12,000ft.
Snowpack: Snow stayed cold above 11,300, N/BTL treeline snow become gloppy, slow, heavy. 5″ new snow at 8am, barely an inch all day. Did observe light windloading from WSW on Scarp, loading NW facing slopes, but did not investigate. Looked quite shallow if any wind slab development. West facing terrain 37º+ did rollerball when skied late afternoon.

Teocalli

Location: Brush Creek Area
Date of Observation: 04/02/2017
Name: Ian Havlick
Subject: Teocalli
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: 8800-13200

Avalanches: Skied slopes up to 45º mid afternoon, with no wet loose activity or pushalanches whatsoever. Confidence inspiring. Northerly slopes still holding powder and highest terrain felt like an isolated windslabs still possible on steepest, shadiest terrain. evidence of the big January avalanche is impressive. A chainsaw will be needed to open up farthest reaches of W. Brush road this summer…
Weather: Beauty day. Mild temps, with highs above freezing even at summit. Almost calm winds, slight NW breeze up high. Skiff of new snow overnight.
Snowpack: Snowpack still looking good out Brush Creek, HS 40-100cm, but well settled, supportable, solid, dense. Minimal boot pen. Large granular corn, with Saturdays storm quickly being absorbed. 1-2″ of newer, sloppier snow in places where windblown by east winds yesterday on south facing slopes. Excellent corn.

Large wet loose avalanche from warm temperatures possibly last week?
Big aspen carpeting
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