Paradise Divide

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 01/12/2020
Name: Eric Murrow and Zach Kinler
Subject: Paradise Divide
Aspect: South East, South, South West
Elevation: 10,800′-12,600′

Avalanches: No new avalanches observed

Weather: Coldest I’ve felt all year, temps in single digits. Broken to overcast skies, moderate westerly winds with stronger gusts, S-1 started around 15:00.

Snowpack: Generally 5″ of settled snow from our incremental event starting late on 1/8 in near treeline terrain. This new snow sits on a variety of old surfaces from stiff windboard to crusts in steeper open terrain on this sunny side of the compass.  Crusts at 1/8 interface on SE are thin and resting on very weak faceted snow. Winds were moving snow onto leeward and cross-loaded features with drifts up to a foot observed on certain E-SE slopes.  Fresh cornice formation on many ridgelines and cross-loaded ribs.  Cracks in drifted snow up to 10 or so feet on small drifted easterly features.  These slabs will continue to build as we add more snow and lots of wind tomorrow.

Photos

 

Anthracite Mesa-Coneys

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/11/2020
Subject: Anthracite Mesa-Coneys
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: BTL

Avalanches:  Just saw 3 R1 D0.5 hard slab avalanches in the neighborhood, which looked like they occurred over a week ago.

Weather: calm, obstructed skies, and cold with air temperature less than 10 degrees F.

Snowpack: no instabilities observed on and off skin track. between 4 and 6 inches of new snow and 8 inches in a favorable area within past 48 hours. one probe at ridge top revealed a depth of 120 cm.

Small Storm Slab Axtel 1st bowl

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/10/2020
Subject: Small Storm Slab Axtel 1st bowl
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: 10500′

Avalanches:

Small storm slab broke while traversing left through small trees on a mid-lower slope in 1st bowl on Axtel. Crown about 8 inches. R1D1. Relatively small but ran into thick small trees. Rocky bed surface, probably shallower snowpack and more East facing. About 10meters wide, possibly 20meters down. Sorry no photos.

Photos: [/gravityforms]

Taking a look down south

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/10/2020
Name: Zach Kinler and Eric Murrow
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: 8,800′-12,070′

Avalanches: 1 small skier triggered wind slab: HS-AS-R1-D1-I

Weather: Cold with temps in single digits to low teens. Low clouds in valley bottom gave way to sunny skies midday before orographic clouds rolled back in from the NW. Winds calm in sheltered terrain on the climb to ridgeline where moderate NW winds greeted us.

Snowpack: 1-2″ new snow overnight. Below and near treeline slopes had an HS of 50-70 cm. Open and steeper slopes held stacks of crusts with weak snow in between while low angle slopes and more easterly aspects were mostly faceted and lacking any slab. Moving above tree line, the snowpack is quite variable with many windward slopes stripped clean while gullies and inset features on South and West aspects have been cross-loaded and are holding much more snow. Recent snow and wind created very isolated and small wind slabs. On due south, supportive crusts on steeper upper elevations slopes gave way to thinner breaker crusts on lower angle terrain.

Photos:

Surprise

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/10/2020
Subject: Surprise
Aspect: North, East
Elevation: ATL, BTL

Avalanches: None seen, some small surface sluffs on SE aspect that didn’t go far

Weather: Broken, was snowing pretty good when we left around noon.

Snowpack: I’d call it 12-14 new total in some spots, light with some minor sluffing from turns in steeper terrain.

 

Incremental Loading And Human Triggered Avalanches

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 01/10/2020
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Incremental Loading And Human Triggered Avalanches
Aspect: North, East, South
Elevation: 9,000-11,300

Avalanches: Human triggered two Persistent Slab Avalanches, failing on facets near the middle of the snowpack, on easterly to northeasterly aspects. Both of the slopes that these small avalanches failed on, had avalanched previously this winter and are now just starting to build soft slabs again above the weak layer. 2xSS-AM-R1-D1-O.

Weather: Mostly Cloudy to Obscured. An orographic cloud kept moving in and out, while areas closer to Crested Butte looked to have fewer clouds. Calm Winds. Mostly S-1.

Snowpack: No obvious signs to instability through most of the terrain traveled. The exception was on slopes with a well below average total snowpack height and a considerably weaker snowpack. I’d estimate that these slopes previously avalanched around Mid-December, leaving them shallow and further weakening through the Mid-December dry spell. The soft slab above consisted of the late December and/or January snow. Recent storm totals were around 7-8″ in this area.

Lap on the Grass

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/09/2020
Name: Elias G
Subject: Lap on the Grass
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East
Elevation: 9600′ – 11,000′

Avalanches: Old crown lines that are filling back in, D .5-1 on convexities/rollovers, N facing BTL terrain.

Weather: Overcast and a bit obscured all day, S-1, calm with temps. in mid teens.

Snowpack: 1″ new snow overnight. Crust on E/SE aspects BTL, now under an 1″ of new (slick w/ new snow), ~ 1-2cm thick perhaps slightly thicker in more open terrain, was supportable to ski in spots but punchy to boot pen. Small size loose dry avalanching on steeper northerly slopes, not enough to bury a person but can run a good distance down slope.
Still fun and surfy out there!

Check On West

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 01/08/2020
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Check On West
Aspect: West, North West
Elevation: 10,500ft-11,800ft

Weather: Overcast through most of the day, becoming partly cloudy in the late afternoon. Calm winds increased southwest in the late afternoon with snow plums off the high peaks. A few facets were blowing around in my area but there wasn’t much snow left to transport.

Snowpack: A concerning snowpack definitely exists on westerly slopes, but this setup is more isolated in the terrain when looking big picture and not as pronounced as some other aspects. The goal was to check snowpack structure and get more details about the concerning snowpack structure on west, but I couldn’t find a representable snowpack that was also in a safe location. Gully type terrain features near treeline are where the most concerning slab/weak layer characteristics existed in the terrain. Otherwise, snowpack structure was highly variable from all the past wind events and less concerning.

hoar, suncrusts, pow

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/08/2020
Subject: hoar, suncrusts, pow
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South
Elevation: 9200-11400

Avalanches: no new observed

Weather: chilly and blustery throughout the day

Snowpack: suncrust on southerlies was almost stout enough to support a skier at some points, but just soft enough to always break through and make for some creative turning. Growing surface hoar widely present north facing down low until maybe 10,500 or so, see blurry photo. Toured and skied north facing snow in the playground area and observed no signs of instability, with conditions ranging from supportive pow to wind stiffened pow to breaker windslab.

Photos:

PM Skook

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 01/08/2020
Name: Joey Carpenter
Subject: PM Skook
Aspect: North, North East, East
Elevation: 9k-11.4k

Avalanches: One loose dry slough triggered from the ridge that had decent momentum and ran ~600 feet. Collected a good amount of snow, passed through trees & over a small rock band. Certainly enough to carry someone but not enough to bury them. R1D1.5

Weather: Wx couldn’t decide what it wanted to do this afternoon with the incoming storm. Started OVC/cool/calm, shifted to clear/calm, then BKN/20mph W wind, back to BKN/CALM, back to OVC/20MPH SW wind.

Snowpack: There was Moderate flagging as the wind was coming from the west. Some small stiff pockets as we traversed the ridge but protected areas remained creamy and generally unconsolidated/weak in the upper 25~35cm (est). Didn’t dig but pole probes could feel the firmer snow beneath the xmas and new years storms.