AIARE Rec 1 Tour day

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/18/2018
Name: Karin Pocock, Chris Pruden, Krista Hildebrandt

Subject: AIARE Rec 1 Tour day
LOCATION: Coney’s

ELEVATION: 9,600′-10,800′

ASPECT: E

Avalanche: None observed.

Weather: Clear skies, generally moderate west winds, moderate blowing snow at ridgetop for most of the day, no precip.

Snowpack: HS 80-120cm. Some collapsing observed on flats, but otherwise no signs of instability during travel. Pit at 10,750′ showed PST 45/100 end 80cm down on FC/DH to size 4. HS at this location 115cm. Skied slopes up to 30 degrees and felt comfortable with our choices.

Not for CBAC: Coney’s is rather skied out and variable thickness windcrust in most places after today’s wind.

LOCATION: Red Coon (Krista)

ELEVATION: 9,500 – 11,500′

ASPECT: S-SE

Avalanche: Avalanche observed in Red Lady Bowl – D2?

Weather: same as above

Snowpack: Pit @ 11,500ft – CT5 SP dwn 60cm FC, HS 120CM, Snow srfc had variable 2-5cm wind and sun crusts depending on micro aspect changes in each pitch.

Not for CBAC: Egress from Red Coon Glades through aspens is horrendous with guests.

LOCATION: Snodgrass/Gothic Saddle (Chris)

ELEVATION: 10,000-10,000′

ASPECT: E

Avalanche: None observed

Weather: same as above

Snowpack: Obvious signs of instability, collapsing, whumpfing and sudden results in all tests. ECTPV, CT6 SC. Chose to ski most conservative line even in BTL terrain.

Repeater

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/18/2018
Name: ZDK

Subject: Repeater
Aspect: North East
Elevation:

Avalanches:

SS-N-R2-D2.5-O Climax Chutes, ~11,000ft, NE aspect. Ran after the 1/12 cycle as well when it propagated down the ridgeline and into the trees leaving debris on a switchback of Gunsight Pass Rd.

Weather: Sunny, warming to 40F in valley floor by 11:00. Strong SW winds creating light loading on ridgelines and peaks.
Snowpack:

Photos:

Gothic Mountain

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/17/2018
Name: billy barr

Subject: Gothic Mountain

Avalanches:

Either after dark last night ( most likely) or early today a good size slide ran off the ridge above the north cirque on Gothic Mountain. Debris reached at least to near the river and maybe further (will check it out this afternoon). I was right by there near sunset last night actually looking up into that area wondering where the safest assent to there would be and came up with a good answer- i went home and watched a movie.

Note, i have the camera trained on the fracture this afternoon if you want to see it at gothgicwx.org and click on YouTube arrow. billy

Photos: Gothic Mountain North cirque.

Washington Gulch

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/17/2018
Name: Jeff Banks

Subject: Washington Gulch
Aspect:
Elevation:

Avalanches:

Possibly a new slide on Schuykill, hard to tell from distance & light.
Possibly a large slide on the Far Eastern side of Baldy, tough angle, couldn’t tell for sure.

Weather: Clear w/ Intense solar, cold in the shade.
Mod Downvalley winds form N shifted to S in late PM. Winds most intense in valley bottom & ridge top but light in mid-range.
Snowpack: Clear w/ Intense solar, cold in the shade.
Mod Downvalley winds form N shifted to S in late PM. Winds most intense in valley bottom & ridge top but light in mid-range.

Photos:

Mount Emmons

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/17/2018
Name: Ian HAVLICK

Subject: Mount Emmons
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9300-12300

Avalanches:

Examined the cornice triggered avalanche from yesterday’s near miss. Party was very very lucky the outcome was not worse. Cornice broke large, and propagated a good chunk of extreme terrain, cliffs and trees and on apron, released 60cm slab failing below 4cm 1F+ windboard on small grained facets.
Also looked at large avalanche in Wolverine basin, propagating into treed terrain. (HS-N-R2D2.5-O). Impressive.

Weather: Mostly clear, light west winds above treeline. Temperatures remained cold above treeline, but low elevations did feel mild today.
Snowpack: Snow coveraged has increased from recent snow, but strong winds have kept above treeline slopes wind scoured. Residual windslabs from last 48-72hrs appeared to be healing, and generally unreactive in terrain travelled today. One profile in very weak spot in Red Lady Bowl revealed poor structure, and test columns failing on isolation twice (ECTV x2), and one ECTP16 SC. Two propagation saw tests on basal facets failed repeatedly at PST20/100end on November/early December depth hoar. zDug in very weak spot near cliffs with both crust facet combinations in midpack and 3-4mm DH near rocky ground HS 80cm. Did not dig in bowl proper, but would expect slightly better structure and depth.

Photos:

Remotely triggered slide in Coon Bowl

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/16/2018
Name: Tim Brown

Subject: Remotely triggered slide in Coon Bowl
Aspect: North East, East, South East, South
Elevation: 9,600′-12,000′

Avalanches:

HS-ASr/c-R1/D2.5-G/O – NE aspect (11,700′-11,200′), remotely triggered a cornice which dropped onto a steep and rocky slope and triggered a large slab avalanche, which stepped out to the side and broke trees.

Several recent slab avalanches on easterly aspects of the shoulder of Red Lady Bowl and above Green Lake on Axtell

Weather: Overcast with thin clouds and strong solar radiation, limited and localized blowing snow along ridge lines from NW after noon
Snowpack: HS 60-160cm with ~ 20-40cm recent storm snow. Large cornices and significant wind loading on easterly aspects near and above treeline.
Forecast danger rating and problem distribution seems appropriate for the terrain we travelled.
SE aspect near treeline: 2 moderate collapses in open meadows, but difficult to determine how deep they were. Multiple crust/facet combinations appeared spooky in snow profile on SE aspect at 11,300′ with HS 105 and PF90cm, but snowpack tests yielded mixed results on these layers (Sudden Fractures in CT’s, ECTP 35+ SC and PST 50-80/100 down 50 and 70 cm on CR/FC combos),

Photos:

Gothic shoulder

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/16/2018
Name: Evan Ross

Subject: Gothic shoulder
Aspect: North East, East, South East
Elevation: 9,500-11,200

Avalanches:

Gothic east face, very large slab failing near ridgeline and stepping down further down slope. Avery east face, looked like a D2.5 windslab that didn’t step down to deeper weak layers.

Weather: Overcast high thin clouds. Calm winds, mostly protected by Gothic or other terrain features.
Snowpack: Stayed quiet. No collapse or other obvious signs to instability like that. Traveled on slopes in the low to mid 30 degree range. All of which had not previously avalanched this season. HS hanging in the 100 to 130cm range on average.

Photos:

Mount Baldy Recon

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 02/16/2018
Name: Ian HAVLICK

Subject: Mount Baldy Recon
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West
Elevation: 9300-12,200

Avalanches:

Significant avalanches on Scarp Ridge/Peeler Basin (North facing, ATL), Augusta ridgeline (ENE facing, ATL) and Purple Mountain (NNE facing, ATL). These slides all looked to have occurred early this morning, and not too much new snow was softening crisp crown lines or debris. Possibly from early morning wind loading. All three of these slides failed 3-12+’ deep, and ran long distances, the Purple Mtn slide running over the mid mountain bench and into the upper Slate valley below Yule Pass. Likely all failed on either the 1/21 persistent weak layer, or the October/November depth hoar near the ground.
Scarp: HS-N-R4D3-O/G November DH. North facing.
Augusta: SS-N-R4D3-O 1/21 (unconfirmed) ENE facing
(2) Purple:
HS-N-R3D3-O 1/21 (unconfirmed) potentially trigged by shallow windslab, then stepping down.
HS-N-R3D3-O 1/21 (unconfirmed)

Weather: Mostly clear skies gave way to overcast skies by mid morning. Still shadows and plenty of radiation reaching snow surfaces. West winds ramped throughout morning, especially above treeline, probably gusting into the 40s on Baldy. Temperatures were quite cold this morning, never got balmy, likely highs in the low to mid 20s. Local sonwfall from yesterday’s storm was about 40cm.
Snowpack: no signs of instability, except for massive crowns scattered across North through East facing terrain above treeline. Rapid settlement of storm snow, got moist from greenhousing between sun and high cloud deck. Active, and efficient wind loading ATL was refilling skin track in less than 5min. Lots of snow available for transport and loading NE-E-SE facing terrain. Cornices were touchy and breaking farther back than past days this winter.

Photos:

Gothic observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/16/2018
Name: Alex Tiberio

Subject: Gothic observations
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: 9400-10200

Avalanches:

The E face of Gothic slid to the valley floor. Looks like it triggered several different slides while running. A small slide looks like it ran on 3rd bowl on Snodgrass, only on the top pitch.

Weather: Mostly clear skies
Snowpack: Stayed in low angle terrain but experienced one very large collapse right at 10,200 on E facing terrain. The collapse traveled across numerous slopes.

Photos:

a few D2’s around Crested Butte

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/16/2018
Name: Ben Pritchett

Subject: a few D2’s around Crested Butte
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation:

Avalanches:

4 x D2’s on Axtell and Whetsone.

Weather:
Snowpack:

Photos:

Main line on Whetstone, off the summit.

This path is a repeat performer this season.

Classic wind-loaded un-supported slope. This is the largest slide we’ve seen immediately around Crested Butte so far this season. Wouldn’t be surprised to see bigger slides closer to Paradise Divide from this same cycle.

Great example of a small Wind Slab stepping down to become a large Persistent Slab.