Red coon summit/glades

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 12/31/2018
Name: Chris MArtin

Subject: Red coon summit/glades
Aspect: South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9,000-12,000′

Avalanches:

N/O

Weather: Intermittent snow. BKN sky. S-1 – S-2 throughout day.

Calm winds with high gusts.
Snowpack: 2-3 inches of new snow observed from Kebler pass TH increasing upon ascent. Once above Red Coon glade, observed increasing snow totals due to precip and wind. Anywhere from 20-35cms of snow drifted into isolated pockets of soft wind slab. One local shooting crack observed about 5-10m wide in wind slab characteristics. No collapsing observed today.

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Kebler Obs

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 12/31/2018
Name: Joey Carpenter

Subject: Kebler Obs
Aspect: North, North East
Elevation: 10200-11400

Avalanches:

None

Weather: Obscured skies, temperatures in the teens, intermittent periods of wind in the mid 20s near ridgelines. Winds started from the S and shifted to the E as the day went on. As winds shifted, they calmed to low teens. Snowfall rates to S5 at times.
Snowpack: 7-8 inches storm snow by 2pm NTL. Moderately strong winds were efficiently transporting low density snow across ridge tops filling in skintracks within minutes. Drifts up to 18″ deep were accumulated by 2pm on leeward aspects near ridgelines. Not far below ridges in protected terrain, storm snow was not cohesive or packed in by the wind. We experienced moderate sloughing BTL and localized cracking at ski tips NTL.

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Snodgrass weak as all get out

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 12/30/2018
Name: Eric Murrow

Subject: Snodgrass and skier triggered slide look?
Aspect: North, North East
Elevation: 9,500 – 11,100′

Avalanches:

D1 – suspected skier triggered slide we were checking out that failed on buried surface hoar from 12/19.
At valley bottom could see two other shallow slabs that also likely failed on same 12/19 SH layer.

Weather: Could feel the inversion with colder temps down low and warmer temps at top. Building clouds throughout the day.
Snowpack: At top near 11,000′ in dark timber the snowpack was still holding on to a 1finger slab in midpack with weak surfaces that sloughed on steep pitches. HS maxed out around 100cm. Locations near ridge top that avalanches early in the year had no slab and were just plain weak.

At 10,600′ we checked out a suspected skier triggered slide (slide observed 12/27). Midpack was only 4finger hard here

. Slide involved only the Christmas Eve storm and failed on the buried surface hoar from 12/19. Crown was only about 8 inches thick and very soft and weak. When we descended immediately adjacent to the crown we were able to trigger small facet sloughs easily. Fresh surface hoar was present that will certainly be buried with the incoming storm.

Snowpack in general was very weak with facet sloughs being the greatest concern. Weak snow surfaces here will produce avalanches with only modest loading.

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Red Lady Glades Tour

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 12/30/2018
Name: Dave Bumgarner – Avy 1 Course

Subject: Red Lady Glades Tour
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 10.624

Avalanches:

Old slide in the bowl of RLG (2 days old?)

Weather: Sky: Scattered Clouds
Air Temp: -3C
No Precip
Wind: Light SW
Snowpack: HS: 80cm
Snow Surface temp: -0.5c
CT 14 RP 40cm down on a thin facet layer 2mm grains
ECTN17 Brk
Midpack pack was 4F
2 cm M/F crust 1F hardness between DH Facets and midpack no reactions on this layer
Bottom of snowpack (33cm) 4F+ DH facets working toward rounds

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Red Lady Bowl SE

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 12/30/2018
Name: Will Nunez

Subject: Red Lady Bowl SE
Aspect: South East, South
Elevation: 11,000

Avalanches:
Weather: Clear-cloudy with light winds from the west, light snow fall. Cold with some solar.
Snowpack: Lots of 1-3mm SH on S-SE aspect BT, NT, AT.

Same SP structurer with facets rounding 10-20cm up from the ground.

The 2cm crust, 1mm facet layer continues to build a stronger structured slab on top the is currently 40 cm, with new snow loads this could be an issue.

No instability’s observered

Photos:

Pocket

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 12/29/2018
Name: Chris

Subject: Pocket
Aspect: South East
Elevation: 10800

Avalanches:

Skier was ascending a gulley at 32 degrees and triggered a hard winslab 8 inches max at crown probably 38-40 degrees at steepest. Skier was knocked back maybe 20 feet and lost a pole

Weather: Clear calm, cold strong ridgetop winds
Snowpack: Shallow windslabs or easterly terrain, few inches of new consolidated on southerly with a thin suncrust

Photos:

Quiet and Good

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 12/29/2018
Name: Evan Ross

Subject: Quiet and Good
Aspect: North East, East, South East
Elevation: 9,000-12,000

Avalanches:

Couple old slabs. D2 below Scarps ridge on NE aspect ATL. D1.5 on ESE in Wolverine Basin ATL. D1.5 E in Red Coon ATL.

Weather: Cold and clear. Calm winds for most of the day. at 12,000ft light winds were just saltating snow across the ridge.
Snowpack: No current concerns found. No obvious signs to instability observed in steep terrain.

Dug on wind-loaded southeast above treeing at about 11,800ft. See picture. Plenty of weak layers but not enough slab for concern in this area. Descending on the same aspect to near treeline, the HS decreased and any concern for a slab avalanche also further decreased.

Moved to NE for the remainder of the decent starting at about 11,300ft. A couple of hand pits and probing confirmed the same structure that was previously observed in steep terrain on Schuylkill in the Paradise Divide area. Again, plenty of weak layers but no propagating slabs found.

Photos:

Touchy Wind Slabs in Red Lady Glades and Evan’s Basin

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 12/29/2018
Name: James Bivens

Subject: Touchy Wind Slabs in Red Lady Glades and Evan’s Basin
Aspect: South East, South, South West
Elevation:

Avalanches:

We observed a D1.5 R2 avalanche on a steeper, east facing slope in the Glades. It appeared natural and we believe it failed because of western winds coming across the ridge top and loading the slope. There was another similar avalanche a little ways up n the same slope as well.

Weather: Cold and Sunny
Snowpack: We did not observe any instability signs from deep in the snow pack (like whoomps, collapses, and shooting cracks) (our slope angles stayed below 35). However, we did observe instabilitiy in wind drifted features. Jumping on cornices above the glades produced cracks through the slab. The slabs were a few inches deep on the isolated southern features we examined. We also broke off one of these isolated slabs off on a roller (created from wind deposition east of a tree) by skiing over it. Skiing was fun in the Glades and the lower half of Evan’s with dense pow and down lower we encountered some breaker crust.

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Shallow and weak snow below treeline

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 12/28/2018
Name: tb

Subject: Shallow and weak snow below treeline
Aspect: North, North East
Elevation: 9,000′ – 9,600′

Avalanches:
Weather: cold temps, scattered clouds and no precipitation or blowing snow observed
Snowpack: Shallow snowpack (30-60cm) with old wind slabs sandwiched between very weak facets. Despite the concerning structure, the slab was too weak to remain intact and transmit fractures beyond ~5m. Several ski cuts on steep test slopes failed to produce avalanches. No other cracking, collapsing or avalanches observed.

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