Cold and Calm

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 01/01/2019
Name: Evan Ross

Subject: Cold and Calm
Aspect: North East, East, South East, South
Elevation: 9,700-11,700

Avalanches:

Small loose snow avalanches. Nothing significant.

Weather: Overcast sky, decreasing in the afternoon. Calm winds.
Snowpack: Storm totals where about 6″. The sun started poking out around 1pm and was settling that snow on sunny slopes. Otherwise that new snow was fist hard, but had that colder slightly stiffer feel. Other then some small loose snow avalanches, we didn’t find any increased avalanche threats from this new snow. No real new sings of recently drifted snow during this recent storm. Other then maybe 2″ here or there. Still was on the lookout for drifted features and using the WSa travel advice.

The alpine sure got raked over a bit by last weekends winds. Lots of wind wales and other wind effect could still be seen with the recent snow on top. While there is some wind effect, the coverage is still looking good on those windward aspects.

Spent some time on similar terrain features near this small human triggered avalanche from 12/29. Those old windslabs where pencil hard and appeared very difficult to trigger. Digging on an ESE aspect at about 10,600ft, the 12/19’ish NSF was still the layer of concern. ECTP Hard, with slab fractures or (N results) on the upper weak layers.

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Irwin Cat Obs

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/01/2019
Name: Irwin Cat Obs

Subject: Irwin Cat Obs
Aspect:
Elevation:

Avalanches:

No cracking or collapsing observed today. One D1.5 soft slab in field of screams. Small point releases in the UUWW entraining a decent about of snow.

Weather: Few clouds to overcast back to scattered clouds. Swirling winds gusting to 15 today. Moderate green housing throughout the morning clearing in the afternoon to produce a thin zipper noticed in R&R. It will breakdown easily tomorrow.
Snowpack: New storm snow thickening throughout this mornings brief green housing period.

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Scarp Ridge tour

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/01/2019
Name: Chris Martin

Subject: Scarp Ridge tour
Aspect: South East, South, South West
Elevation: 11000-12400

Avalanches:

N/O

Weather: BKN Sky. Calm winds. Beaut of a day!!!
Snowpack: Persistent Slab structure present with incremental loading on top from previous storm. 20-40 cm new/wind transported snow observed. Some places this snow stiffened into hard wind slab on scarps ridge but mostly sat soft. No shooting cracks observed.

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Irwin Cat Obs

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 12/31/2018
Name: Eleven Guides (Irwin Cat skiing)

Subject: Irwin Cat Obs
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West
Elevation: 10-12,000ft

Avalanches:

New storm snow running loose dry less than D1 in size. Minimal cracking out in front
of skis in thread, less than a meter. No collapsing observed today.

Weather: Snowing lightly All day with a couple periods of S1 but not accumulating too fast. Calm
Winds gusting to 19 out of the southwest. Cold temps with highs in the single digits at 12,000′
Snowpack: Today we dug a pit in upper 2 chutes right. HS: 175 W-NW 38*. 12/19, 12/21 & 11/22 PS
structure present. SH noted down 35cm. The 12/19 interface is breaking down and barely a crust anymore. CTN,
ECTX, DTN. PST End 50/100 failing on 2mm Facets between the 12/19 & 12/21 Interface down 50cm. 11/22
interface: DTH SC. PST End 50/100 failing on 3mm facets down 95cm. Both persistent slab problems seem to be
unreactive at this point from widespread explosives testing with both hand shots and large targeted
airblasts. Snow profiles also confirm the unreactive sensitivity.

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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.

Photos:

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.

Photos:

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

Photos:

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: