Pearl/Star Pass

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Brush Creek Area
Date of Observation: 02/29/2020
Subject: The day that disappeared – Pearl Star
Aspect: North, North East, South East, South, West
Elevation: 11,000′-12,700′

Avalanches: Old Cornice Break stepping down into wind slab and old snow. ATL – North East

Weather: Blue Jay. Warming temps in the days and nights. Rounding trend on its approach.

Snowpack: Wind has had its way with the Friend Hut zone.

HS150-170cm observed near friends hut and similar elevations in neighboring basins. Fully faceted snow in shallow north-facing areas found but spotty. Old wind slab on isolated terrain features above this fully faceted pack seemed to be alive and possibly reactive if found.

HS 240-300 on Lee loaded slopes ATL in South basin of Pearl and Star. 40cm+ of DH below very firm snow. Old wind deposited snow found on specific features and seemed to be stubborn to unreactive. Bonded well to snow below. One significant sign of instability, whumpf (no cracking observed), on a tour up to pearl pass. This was on a neighboring slope east of the pass on a South facing aspect.

Cement Creek

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Cement Creek Area
Date of Observation: 02/29/2020
Name: Dan K
Subject: Cement Creek
Aspect: North East, East, South East
Elevation: 11k

Avalanches: None

Weather: Pleasantly warm down low. E-S slopes BTL were corned up nicely at 10am.

Snowpack: Found two shooting cracks ~15m long on E/NE sheltered slope NTL at 11k’. No collapsing or whoomphing was noted by our party and we thought it likely that they occurred naturally a day or two prior. Our tour was quiet and we noticed no signs of instability other than these two cracks.

Kebler Pass Obs

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 02/28/2020
Name: Ben Pritchett
Subject: Kebler Pass Obs
Aspect: South East, South, South West
Elevation: BTL

Avalanches: Very minor natural Loose Wet activity. Not a shed cycle.


Ridgeline Wind Speed: 5-10 mph
Ridgeline Wind Direction: NW
Wind Loading: None
Temperature: 37 F
Sky Cover: Few
Depth of Total Snow: 200 cm
Weather Description: Cooker afternoon with high thin clouds trapping radiation.

Snowpack: Some shiny-looking areas of saturated snow. Surfaces wetted down to first crust in the upper snowpack on south and southwest facing slopes. It became easy to pull about 2″ of wet snow on the crust, which corresponded to the few shallow Loose Wet avalanches observed. Sunnyside of east and due west became crusted, but could not pull loose wet with hand tests on steep slopes.



Spoon sluff

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/28/2020
Name: MR and SL
Subject: Spoon sluff
Aspect: South
Elevation: 11,400

Avalanches: Skier triggered wet loose avalanche, triggered just above the mostly filled in steep roll in the spoon, broke predictably and ran slowly so was easy to avoid, but wouldn’t have been fun to be in. Ran 150 feet and 30 feet wide, stopping just before some older debris. Was skiing around noon, a little later than we intended.


Crested Butte area BTL

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/27/2020
Name: Zach Kinler

Aspect: North, North East, East, South East

Elevation: 9,000-10,200


No new avalanches observed.


Weather: Stunning bluebird day, FEW high clouds drifting over. Temps near freezing with light NW breeze occasionally gusting to moderate.

Snowpack: Toured below tree line on the north side of Mt. Emmons on E-N aspects. HS 130- 160 cm. No signs of instability while skiing on slopes up to 35 degrees or stomping small test slopes greater than 35 degrees. Profiled E and N aspects targeting the early February interface. This layer was 43 cm down on E and 60 cm down on N. ECTX on both slopes however on E the 1st loading step after the standard test got propagating results. Both produced PST END results with E 35/100 and N 40/100. Due east surfaces remained dry while any aspect south of east became moist.


East aspect 10,000′

PST 35/100 (END) East 10,000′

North aspect, 9600′

PST 40/100 (END) North 9600′

Coney’s – propogating results

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/26/2020
Subject: Coney’s – propogating results
Aspect: East
Elevation: 9900

Weather: Sunny, cloud cover was BKN-, light wind from the south.

Snowpack: See snowpilot upload.


Gothic Obs

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/26/2020
Name: Steve Banks
Subject: Gothic Obs
Aspect: North, East, South, South West
Elevation: 9,600-11,200

Avalanches: Wind slabs, persistent slabs, cornice falls and facet sluffs-we saw it all! Nothing from today, likely Feb 24/25. Large cornice falls triggering not so big slabs on NE facing very steep terrain on Gothic. A PS D2 viewed up on Rustlers Gulch ATL South Facing. Wind slabs on S facing of Belleview ATL. Full depth fast running Facet Sluff NE facing BTL in Copper Creek.

Weather: Sunny AM warmed nicely into the low 20’s. Light winds increased to moderate as clouds increased. Snow flurries by 14:00 with no accumulation Significant blowing snow again. Snow, wind and clouds dissipated as the sun set.

Snowpack: It’s shallow out here! Less snow and more facets than other drainages. Newly formed windboard in most exposed places. Closer to Gothic townsite the snowpack is 40-100 cms average. Depth improves as you move toward Baldy/Belleview. Recent storm totals near 30 cms at higher elevations, redistributed all over. New zipper sun crust formed today from green housing on southerly BTL/NTL slopes.


Near Gothic Mountain

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 02/26/2020
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Near Gothic Mountain
Aspect: East, South
Elevation: 9,500-11,500

Weather: Clear sky in the morning, with increasing clouds and a few flakes in the afternoon. Winds remained light for our area. Didn’t notice much blowing snow.

Snowpack: Spent a good bit of time on SE in the 11,000-11,500ft elevation ban. 20cm of recent snow from last Sunday over a supportable crust. The early February Crusts could be felt with a prob about 45cm down. Those lower crusts felt well insulated and would need a heavy load to be effected. All in all, no current concerns were found in this terrain. HS was in the 145-150cm range.

Easterly terrain dropping toward the Gothic Valley was all messed up from the recent northerly winds. Those slopes had little cross-loading and had ugly wind effected snow surfaces. Unloading was the observed theme on these slopes, the same as on northerly slopes traveled on yesterday.

Looking around the area, the typical down valley winds didn’t appear to have formed from the recent northerly winds and cross-loading in the normal areas wasn’t observed.

Getting above the inversion

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 02/26/2020
Name: Zach Kinler

Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West, North West

Elevation: 9,000- 11,000


One D2 wind slab on a cross-loaded west facing gully on Gothic. Fairly quiet on north and east aspects down the Ruby Range.


Weather: Cold start well below zero but once out of the valley bottom temps warmed into the upper 20s. Calm, clear conditions gave way to passing clouds, increased NW wind and very light flurries by 14:00 as a disturbance passed through.

Snowpack: At Elkton Study Plot HS: 160 cm. Most concerning layer is the 2/3 MFcr with 1.5 mm rounding facets below. No results on CT or ECT however a PST score of 45/100 END indicates the lingering possibility of propagation if failure could be initiated. Highly variable surfaces on the windward side of the compass as many features have been scoured leaving deposits nearby in gullies, inset features and behind ribs and trees.

Elkton Study Plot

Gothic west side with a recent avalanche and evidence of recent winds.