Cement Creek

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Cement Creek Area
Date of Observation: 04/19/2020
Name: Cosmo
Subject: Cement Creek
Elevation: 9300’

Weather: 4” new snow at 6:30am

Far Western Portion Of Paradise Divide Area

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/17/2020
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Far Western Portion Of Paradise Divide Area
Aspect: North, East, South
Elevation: 9,000-12,800

Avalanches: Plenty of Wind Slabs form yesterday’s cycle to be viewed. Call it 20 or so. Vast majority were D1 to D1.5. 2″ to 5″ crowns. A few D2’s with crowns up to around 20″ thick. Most crowns didn’t propagate widely across the majority of the start zone, while a few of the larger ones had some good propagation. There is still something to be said for a propagating 2″ slab. North to east to south near and above treeline covered the majority of the activity, I didn’t see anything on west.

Weather: Beautifully day. Few clouds and the winds in the alpine remained calm to light.

Snowpack: Yesterday’s wind event did a better job then I expected, of pressing the snow into terrain versus stripping it back to the old snow surface. Some slopes were of course blown back to the old snow surface, most had at least 2 inches, to 2 feet of new snow on them. Maybe 18″ of new snow in this snow favored area, but it feels silly to give a number with all the variability out there.

The facets and soft crusts around the old snow surface were something to keep in mind. We chose to ski some wind-loaded terrain and avoid others. So the assessment portion was there. No obvious signs of instability. The new snow was either very light, thin with a little cohesion, or thick and set up.

The northerly slopes in the alpine stayed dry. While many others were feeling the effects of the strong April sun. I suspect that many of those sunny slopes with thin slabs will be crusty tomorrow.

Regarding wet snow avalanches, we spent most of our day at upper elevations. The thick or wind pressed snow seemed to limit loose wet avalanches as the recent snow transitioned today. Rollerballs and a couple loose wet avalanches were observed mainly below about 11,000ft.

Spring PWL

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/17/2020
Name: Steve Banks
Subject: Spring PWL
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9,500-12,000

Avalanches:
Several recent avalanches both mid-storm (Thursday) and post-storm (Thursday night/Friday morning), trend seemed to be mostly East facing and therefor likely due to wind loading:
-Baxter Basin size 2 breaking at mid/lower elevation in an East facing couloir feature. Debris ran quite far
-Richmond Mountain size 2 breaking at mid/lower elevation in an East facing couloir feature. Debris ran quite far. Crown mid slope on a slightly steeper convex roll
-Richmond/Angle Pass and Augusta both showed signs of widely propagating mid-storm avalanches on easterly aspects below cornices, now refilled
-Augusta SE facing size 2
-Purple Ridge, East facing wind slab
-By noon several shallow wet slabs and wet loose slide were peeling off steeper East facing terrain
-Skier trigged size 1(multiple) on Schuylkill Ridge around noonish.

Weather: Still cloudy and cold early with rapidly clearing skies. Temps remained near or below freezing but solar gain got intense. Windloading from the West to the East until 11 am, then it shut right off.

Snowpack: 8-14″ of new snow on average, but winds had loaded/stripped from one place to the next. Couple hand pits showed 10″ new over facets over strong melt freeze or dense old snow depending on aspect. The new slab is up to 4F+ and the facets below 1-1.5mm. No dramatic signs of instability under foot, but the problem is there and easy to find.

Photos:

Snow favored area slab/weak layer check

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/17/2020
Name: Eric Murrow
Subject: Snow favored area slab/weak layer check
Aspect: North East, East, South East
Elevation: 9,400′ – 11,700′

Avalanches: Small avalanche cycle in snow favored areas along the Ruby Range. Slabs were shallow but a few produced some fairly wide propagation.

Gothic , southwest – cross-loaded gully wall
Purple Ridge , east and northeast
Purple Mountain , east
Martini Glass (Richmond), east – mid feature
Baxter Basin, east – mid feature
Mineral Point, east – loose avalanche with some propagation midslope
Schuylkill Ridge, small skier-triggered slab – did not run far and no one caught (per second-hand text message)
Variety of small loose avalanches from steep, rocky sunny features below around 11,000′

Weather: Gorgeous sunny weather with light winds and moderate air temperatures. Did not observe any snow transport between 1030am and 230 pm.

Snowpack: Snow height from the latest storm was around 12″ with 1.1″ SWE at 11,000′ in the Elkton area.

Mild air temperatures and sunny skies were able to moisten snow surfaces on many slopes. SE and E slopes around 12400 became a bit moist by noon. Low elevation terrain on south half of the compass became moist throughout most of the recent storm snow down to the stout old crust from last weekend. Northeast facing slopes up through 11,500′ became slightly moist by 2pm.

Dug a handful of test profiles on NE, E, and SE facing slopes that all had some level of drifting around 11,000′ or a bit above. Test results showed moderate propagating results failing beneath the recent storm snow in a layer of facets that formed during the usually cool weather from earlier in the week. At all test profile sites, I found marginal bonding between this weeks snowfall and the stout crust that was buried last Saturday, 4/11. Felt like steep, drifted features or unsupportive convexities could produce triggered avalanches for the next couple of days. Jumped on a handful of small, steep features without signs of instability but did not try my luck on the most suspect looking spots.

Photos:

Gothic Valley

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 04/18/2020
Name: JerryD
Subject: Gothic Valley

Avalanches: Three Small ones on NE side. More important observation: Four backcontry skiers on three snowmobiles passing me on the Gothic Road on my ski tour to Gothic today. I do not know who they were. And I did not like it.

Weather: k

 

Loose Dry on Snodgrass

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 04/17/2020
Subject: Loose Dry on Snodgrass
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 10500

Avalanches: Skier triggered numerous dry loose sloughs on 2nd bowl. One fanned out pretty wide running about three hundred feet downhill

Photos:

Gothic 7am Weather Update

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/17/2020
Name: Billy Barr

Subject: Gothic 7am Weather Update

Weather: Yesterday was generally a nasty day which alternated between strong wind with little snow and periods of moderate snow as the wind died down. Snow went into the night before ending around 9 p.m. Total new was 5″ with water 0.46″. Currently 43½” on the ground under a clear sky. High was 32F yesterday, low 11 and current 13F. Wind is light but gusting a bit. Hey, summer is just 13 months away. billy

Snowing And Blowing

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 04/16/2020
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Snowing And Blowing
Aspect: North, East, South
Elevation: 9,500-11,500

Weather: Gnar weather. The wind is just ripping down the Kebler Corridor. Mostly hung out in forested areas outside of the wind. Gusts on Scarps Ridge were hitting 80mph. Snowfall rates were averaging an inch and hour, as they moved up and down between S1 and S5. New snow depths were only 4 to 6 inches on average and less than expected. I think there was so much blowing snow that there was no way to actually get a new snow measurement, as those numbers should have been higher.

Snowpack: A Storm Slab avalanche problem wasn’t encountered. Other then sluffing no instabilities were observed on wind-sheltered slopes. Near ridgeline and in open areas I didn’t encounter the wind-loading that I expected. Many slopes had been blown off by the wind deeper drifts were harder to find. That snow is blowing somewhere, on other terrain, and where ever it is landing would definitely have an avalanche problem. I was able to push off a few very small wind slabs on southerly facing slopes that either had some wind-loading or slightly stiffer slabs. Those slabs were in the 2 to 6″ range and running on the old snow surface. The slabs stayed confined to the slightly drifted pieces of terrain.

The old snow surface was a mixed bag of facets, crusts, and wind-board. Those facets were on-top of crusts, below crusts and in general mixed into thin layers in the upper 5 to 10cm’s of the snowpack. This interface wasn’t very problematic today because there either wasn’t enough snow, or enough slab where I traveled.

Gothic 7am Weather Update

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/16/2020
Name: billy barr
Subject: Gothic 7am Weather Update

Weather: Cloudy with snow starting around 2 a.m. and going moderately until near 5 a.m. when wind started up. There was 4″ new and water 0.26″ with 41″ on the ground. Currently overcast and mild with the low 25F, high and current 29F. Wind is light but with strong, regular gusting so moving snow around. Loose slides have been running of steep areas on Gothic. The new snow sits on hard crust.

Cement Creek

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Cement Creek Area
Date of Observation: 04/16/2020
Name: Cosmo
Subject: Cement Creek
Elevation: 9300’

Weather: Just a dusting of new snow overnight.