Mount Emmons/Redwell

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 04/01/2017
Name: Ian Havlick
Subject: Mount Emmons/Redwell
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9000-12400

Avalanches: Observed several D1 wet loose avalanches on NTL, east facing terrain by 1300. Numerous BTL north facing rollerballs, but due to minimal accumulations, completely harmless…good to know that north facing did get warm enough for wet loose avalanche problems though, given sufficient snow. non-issue at the moment.

Observed one, D1.5 windslab on east facing slope in Redwell. Looked 10″ deep but ran most the basin.
Weather: Clear skies this morning transitioned to mostly cloudy skies by 1400. Scattered snow showers did develop, but just a skiff of accumulation. Steady E-SE wind 10-15mph blew during tour, strongest at ridgetop. New snow accumulation ~4-10″ Major temperature difference within 1000ft, 40s at 10k, high 20s at 12k.
Snowpack: No active wind transport, however, significant evidence of reverse windloading from E-SE winds yesterday and overnight. Drifts up to 18″ deep were observed along traditional Red Lady skin track ridge, and along Mount Emmons. Most of this fresh windloading accumulated on previously bare rock, and no signs of instability (such as cracking) were observed.

Non reactive storm snow interface 8″ deep on northerly facing slopes. some minor cracking underfoot but minor propagation.

Significant greenhousing once clouds developed midday, made even north facing surface snow a little stickier. South facing slopes even above treeline cooked today, and last nights snow settled to 1-2″.

it was okay..
Observed this fresh wet loose avalanche initiate off rocks, east facing, 12 noon
Evidence of D1.5-2 windslab (likely ran last night or this morning)
Summit of red lady, reverse wind loading/cornice.

NE Slicks

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 03/30/2017
Subject: NE Slicks
Aspect: North East
Elevation: ATL and TL

Avalanches: Just sluffs of new snow on that slick crust underneath. Pockets of 10 inches deep further down pitch that would be cause for concern on steeper more sustained/exposed pitches.
Weather: sunny, breezy up high Wednesday, no wind on Thursday
Snowpack: Found there to be anywhere from 4-10 inches of snow on NE aspects both above treeline and at treeline sitting on a slick crust

Mount Baldy

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 03/29/2017
Name: Ian Havlick
Subject: Mount Baldy
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9700-12600

Avalanches: Triggered several wet loose slides on steep (35º+) southerly facing slopes between 1430-1500 in the gut of Mount Baldy southerly bowl. These slides carried a decent punch and could tumble the unsuspecting skier or rider, and cause injury in confined terrain like couloirs. new snow 3-4″ deep running quickly on old suncrust.
Weather: Mostly clear skies, strong radiation, light to moderate NW winds early to mid afternoon. Temperatures remained fairly cold, but winds made ambient temps feel much colder.
Snowpack: 3-4″ new snow across terrain, but with strong radiation and mild temperatures, yesterday’s snow 8-10″ was settling fast, to 3-4″ by mid afternoon on southerly half of compass. Moderate NW winds were transporting yesterdays snow efficiently with significant new cornice formation and windslabs directly adjacent to ridgelines up to 18″ deep. New snow was not cracking or collapsing and appeared to be bonding well with underlying snow surfaces even with strong ski cuts and aggressive turns.


Scarp Ridge

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 03/29/2017
Name: Kirk
Subject: Scarp Ridge
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 12012

Avalanches: wet slide activity started around noon . Small skier triggers wet slide was avoidable but could have been a knee wrecker .
Weather: Realatively Calm with occasional gusts from SE about 5mph
Snowpack: 6 new from Monday / Tuesday . Setting up fast

In the Greenhouse

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 03/28/2017
Name: Ben Pritchett
Subject: In the Greenhouse
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South
Elevation: 11,500′

Avalanches: Extensive wet loose cycle nead and above treeline producing numerous D1/1.5 slides. Examples include: Gothic Mountain SW face. Baldy SE face. Schuylkill Ridge SE and East. Whetstone E aspect (adjacent to M-chutes). Purple Palace NE.
Weather: Intense greenhouse / radiation. Temps were only in the mid 20’s, but the radiation influences were dramatic.
North winds showed up as expected in late afternoon.
Snowpack: North & Northeast – dry snow surfaces in late pm. New snow failed on small facets in tilt tests, down 15-20cm.
Southeast – moist surfaces in PM, snowpack tests popped down 20-25cm on rounding facets below buried Melt Freeze crusts.
South/Southwest- wet surfaces, generating free-water that wicked/spread above the old Melt freeze crusts on steeper slopes. Extensive rills developed between 2-4pm below 10,500′. New snow was glued to the top of the crusts.
Late PM winds began to transport new snow lightly, forming soft shallow drifts just below ridgelines.

Loose Wet avalanches adjacent to Wetstone’s M-Chutes.  East Aspect.

Loose Wet avalanches off Gothic’s SW Face.

Loose Wet avalanches off Schuylkill Ridge and Schuylkill’s NW satellite summit.  East aspects.

Lower Purple Palace, Loose Wet avalanches running just North of East.

Rills developed from wet snow surfaces between 2-4pm.

Ruby Range

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 03/28/2017
Name: Ian Havlick
Subject: Ruby Range
Aspect: East, South East, South
Elevation: 10,000-12,000

Avalanches: Widespread cycle of loose snow avalanches (
Weather: Moderate snow tapered to broken skies by mid morning. 9″ (.55 swe) 6% density at nearby Irwin study plot. Calm winds and balmy low to mid 30ºF temps, but intense solar when sun poked through.
Snowpack: New snow warmed and moisted quickly after snowfall stopped around 8am. Interesting structure in new snow that has fallen on old, dusty, spring snow surface. Observed a couple melt freeze crusts with .5-1mm facets below on mid elevation, S-SE facing apron of Ruby Peak.. With more snow load, could hold potential for another round of persistent slab avalanches. Should be monitored. No blowing snow observed by 1200pm.

Due north slopes and westerly slopes remained dry, but any slope with even a hint of east and south had moistened by 10am.

Ruby Apron profile
ENE facing storm snow activity on E-Ridge of Mount Owen (Jenga ridgeline)
East facing Ruby Ridge, widespread storm slab and dry loose avalanche activity transitioned to wet loose slides later in the day.

Triggered Cornice Break – Owen

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 03/27/2017
Name: Anonymous
Subject: Triggered Cornice Break – Owen
Aspect: South East
Elevation: ~12500′

Avalanches: Accidentally triggered a large cornice break near Owen/Ruby saddle. Noticed snow next to rocks on the ridge was icy, took two steps away from rocks, punched through snow triggering a large cornice fall. About 40 yards wide and the size of a couple buses. Didn’t appear to trigger slab avalanche, but a large amount of debris ran length slope with loose recent snow. Occurred around 11:15am.
Weather: Warm partly cloudy. Little to no wind


Irwin Tenure

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 03/27/2017
Name: Irwin Guides
Subject: Irwin Tenure
Aspect: East, South, West
Elevation: 10,000-12,000

Avalanches: none
Weather: FEW to OVC skies back and forth all day with pulses of convective snowfall not accumulating at all. Solar radiation helped soften snow surfaces. Light winds with Moderate Gusts from the NW and then W not really transporting any snow, High temps 36F / 25F:
Snowpack: 1-2″ of fresh snow overnight skied ok over smooth supportive surfaces, Sun came in and out today warming the snowpack. Westerlies were a bit of sticky pow while east, south, and sw were more spring like schmoo. All surfaces are supportive, not breakable and the pack is mostly transitioned to Spring isothermal but new snow sticky in places. No threats of wet loose today.

Irwin Tenure

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 03/25/2017
Name: Irwin Guides
Subject: Irwin Tenure
Aspect: East, South, West
Elevation: 10,000-12,000

Avalanches: none
Weather: Thin clouds all day but warm temps and strong solar radiation, Some green housing effect helped as well, calm winds & High Temps: 47F / 35F
Snowpack: Frozen locked up in the morning and then good spring in the pm. Straight west still transitioning hot pow while East, South, & SW were more mature corn and spring Schmoo. Rocks appearing all over the place behind blind rolls and mellow terrain

Mt Axtell

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/25/2017
Name: Zach Guy
Subject: Mt Axtell
Aspect: North, North East, East
Elevation: A/NTL

Avalanches: Skier triggered a 3″ by 8′ wind slab in a north facing couloir ATL, harmless in size. No other instabilities in steep terrain.
Weather: Increasing clouds. Warm temps.
Snowpack: 1″ of settled storm snow, mostly scoured away ATL except in cross loaded drifts up to 3″ or 4″ thick. Some minor rollerballs on cross loaded easterly aspects (see photo), but not enough snow to slide.