Cement Creek

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Cement Creek Area
Date of Observation: 02/13/2020
Name: Cosmo
Subject: Cement Creek
Elevation: 9400′

Snowpack: ~1.5″ new snow @ 6am and snowing lightly.

Toured around yesterday (2/12) between 9300′-10000′ on NW-S aspects. Snow pack varied greatly from aspect to aspect. Some big collapses lower down on open west facing terrain, likely cross loaded. Some smaller, isolated collapses on NW facing convexity just below a ridgline. Signs of instability decreased with elevation. South facing slopes were shallow with a thin sun crust on top of the few inches we got earlier this week, on top of a much thicker/harder crust. Below the lower crust was facets pretty much to the ground. Snow depths ranged from less than 30cm to 140cm depending on where you were.

Coney’s

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/12/2020
Name: Ammon
Subject: Coney’s
Aspect: North, North East
Elevation: 9,000′-10,800′

Avalanches: none observed.

Weather: Weather fluctuated between overcast with moderate winds and broken skies with calm to light winds multiple times.

Snowpack: No instability noted, traveled on N and NE aspects up to 35 degrees.
Dug a quick pit while transitioning in a very sheltered spot, NE aspect at 10,600′, 23 degree slope.
HS 122cm, 7cm F-hard DFs at surface. 30cm 1F slab over 4f FC (2/3). ECTN29 on 2/3 interface, only dug and isolated ECT to below this interface.

Quick Check On South

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 02/12/2020
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Quick Check On South
Aspect: South
Elevation: 9,000-10,600

Avalanches:
Got a look at a previously reported avalanche near Evan’s Basin. Debris were fairly fresh so this avalanche likely ran within the last few days. This is a classically wind-loaded terrain feature at 10,700ft. It appeared that the cornice broke and further stepped down and pulled out a slab just under the cornice. The Crown looked to be about 50cm’s thick and probably released near the 2/4 interface and also cleaned to the ground near a rocky cliff thing. SS-N-R1-D1.5. Of note, the slab didn’t propagate widely across the terrain and didn’t appear to produce any shooting cracks on the slope lower down.

Weather: Few clouds in the morning becoming mostly cloudy by mid-day. Low level clouds were moving through with cells producing some light snowfall. New snow accumulation at 3pm was about 1.5 inches. Blowing snow could be seen on ridgelines and upper elevations.

Snowpack: Quick check on low elevation south. No signs to instability traveling on these slopes, even where cross-loaded. Checking out snowpack structure on a 30 degree, cross loaded, south facing slope at 10,600ft. Showed an HS of 135. The 2/4 interface was 6cm thick. There was no collapsing that crust at this time. There was a 45cm 1f slab bonded to that crust, with several thiner crusts near the snow surface that have formed over recent days.

Weak layer

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/12/2020
Name: Sam ONeil
Subject: Weak layer
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 10500

Weather: Snowing broken skies 24°

Snowpack: 200cm

Facet at 140 and 170

STM at 140 and 170
CTM 28 at 140
ECTX no fracturing

Large Persistent Slab In Kebler Pass

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 02/11/2020
Subject: Large Persistent Slab In Kebler Pass
Aspect: West
Elevation:

Avalanches: 2 large persistent slabs triggered by 18# explosives on a west facing slope in Robinson Basin. 1F hard slabs failing on F-hard 3-5mm facets. Crown Lines were around 140cm deep.

Baxter Basin avalanches

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 02/11/2020
Name: MR
Subject: Baxter Basin avalanches
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9,600-12,000

Avalanches: See photos. Countless small loose dry avalanches, and some storm slabs along mineral point, augusta, richmond ridge, daisy pass, and Schuykill areas, involving the new snow that fell sunday night-monday afternoon. Possible two large avalanches, one off southeast face of augusta, and one off North face of Schuykill that ran into the flats of Baxter Basin, that probably ran during or after the big friday storm event and the new snow fell on top of the debris, so it was hard to say how deep they failed.

We triggered one noteworthy wet loose release while descending the southeast flank of Cascade, which ran with energy a couple hundred feet, entraining surrounding snow but not gouging into lower layers. No photo, sorry!

Weather: The sun was doing its thing today on sunny slopes, warming the snow but not to the point of any roller balling that we witnessed.

Cement Creek

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Cement Creek Area
Date of Observation: 02/18/2020
Name: Evan Ross & Eric Murrow
Subject: Cement Creek
Aspect: East, West
Elevation: 9,000-11,200

Avalanches: The 2/7 natural avalanche cycle produced a good number of avalanches in Cement Creek. Most of the avalanches we saw were at below treeline elevations on both easterly and westerly terrain. Most of those were in the small category given the size of the terrain and depth of slab, while a few were reaching D2 in size. The largest avalanches that were observed were on easterly near treeline slopes.

Weather: Clear or few clouds baby. Lovely day out there and we definitely stayed on the dry side of the line. The sun was warming the snow surface on southerly facing slopes and a new crust will form on those lower elevation southerlies. Calm winds.

Snowpack: Traveled on a variety of aspects but primarily east and west. We were targeting some near treeline slopes but in the end got held up below treeline. Both aspects had ~30 to 40cm soft slabs over a weak and unsportive old snowpack. This snowpack structure, plus the old natural avalanches led to little confidence in the snowpack. However, we found basically no results snowmobiling through test slopes. A few shooting cracks were observed but they only extended 10 to 15 feet at best. No collapses were noticed and we certainly were effecting the weak layer. While we didn’t find notable results, I still wouldn’t put much trust in that snowpack on upper 30-degree terrain and especially at higher elevations with previous wind-loading.

Lower Wolverine Basin

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/11/2020
Name: Ammon
Subject: Lower Wolverine Basin
Aspect: North, North East, East
Elevation: 9,000′-10,200′

Avalanches: Observed an old avalanche in the upper Wolverine Trees, above the Gunsight Pass Road that ran almost to the road. Slightly filled in but likely ran during the last cycle. NW aspect NTL, D2.

Weather: Sunny but cold on anything but South aspects and valley bottom.

Snowpack: No signs of instability noted. Skied N and NE aspects 25-35 degree slopes. Excellent skiing.
10,100′ NNE in lower Wolverine Basin, HS 156cm, 21 degree slope. ECTN 13 down 39cm on 2/4 interface, 1F slab on 4F+ 1mm FC which are showing signs of rounding. Other layers still visible but all 1F FC and rounding. Will email photos.

Below treeline snow favored area

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 02/10/2020
Name: Eric Murrow
Subject: Below treeline snow favored area
Aspect: North East, East, South East
Elevation: 9000′ – 10400′

Avalanches: none observed

Weather: Overcast skies, light continuous snowfall, and light winds near valley bottom. Visibility was obscured but I could hear some strong winds up high; in the afternoon observed lots of blowing snow on Whetstone around 400pm.

Snowpack: Traveled through below treeline terrain checking out the upper snowpack and more specifically the 2/3 interface that was buried by last week’s healthy accumulations. On E and NE slopes there is around 40cm settled snow resting on top of 1-1.5mm facets. The slab is up to 1f hardness. Snowpack tests revealed moderate propagating results. Stomped and snowmobiled on numerous short test slopes without signs of instability although slopes were small and well supported.
Took a peak on a SE facing slope testing the same interface and got similar moderate propagating results. Oddly enough slab failed on top of the 2/3 melt/freeze crust even though weak facets were present directly below the crust. I experienced one small collapse on a SE slope, but it was not particularly loud and did not produce a crack; I suspect this was the uppermost crust that formed on 2/8 not the more concerning crust from 2/3.
New snow accumulations resting above the 2/8 interface were pushing 6 inches as of 230pm.

Photos: