snow survey at bottom of red lady glades

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/30/2020
Name: ADB
Subject: snow survey at bottom of red lady glades
Aspect: South
Elevation: BTL

Weather: Clear in the AM; calm; 6 degrees F

Snowpack: Average snow depth is 30. 6 inches
Water content is 7.4 inches
sun crust
about 1 inch of new snow in last 24 hours.

Brush Creek

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Brush Creek Area
Date of Observation: 01/29/2020
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Brush Creek
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: BTL

Weather: Sky was already clearing by sunset with few clouds through the day. Thicker clouds looked to hang out over by the Ruby Range. Light winds.

Snowpack: General weak snowpack, but not necessarily confidence-inspiring. HS average near 100cm. Ski pen was surprisingly supportable at around 10-15cm, but boot pen was still most of the snowpack. At the lower elevations traveled, the weakest facets near the ground were the layer of concern. I would estimate a little higher in the terrain with more snowpack structure and the mid-pack weak layers could have been more problematic or better defined. On one hand, I wasn’t surprised by the lack of signs of instability while hunting for them, on the other, I didn’t find any confidence in the snowpack and didn’t care to push into steeper terrain.

One test profile on a protected slope at 10,400ft on a NE aspect, 33-degree slope. HS 125. ECT N results in the middle and upper snowpack. Those layers of snow were not drastically different from one another and the whole thing was faceting together. I’d estimate that more concerning structure could have been found higher in the terrain or where the HS was greater. There were about 5cm of F hard facets near the ground and that was the layer of concern in this profile.

Low in the Brush Creek Drainage, there wasn’t much snowpack yet and it was way more punchy. You had to get up towards Teo to start developing the snowpack described. The south side of Teo was looking generally thin and not too concerning. Cross-loaded terrain down low could have had better structure, or up in the alpine.

Taylor Park Near & Above Treeline

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Cement Creek Area
Date of Observation: 01/29/2020
Subject: Taylor Park Near & Above Treeline
Aspect: North East, East, South East

Weather: Clear skies; very light, northerly wind; very cold (inversion) at valley floor warming into the 20’s on ascent.

Snowpack: Wind loaded east aspect HS 145cm; bottom 90cm 4F to F facets; 25cm 1F persistent slab on top of that; followed by 25cm soft slab (more recent snow); topped by a 5cm wind crust resting on possible surface hoar. CT29 with a sudden collapse at the ground. ECT did not produce any results in the upper portion of the snowpack or at the ground. We dug our pit in the deepest portion of the slope. Given the CT result, our main concern was collapsing the snowpack at the ground at a shallower point on the slope. Picture shows the slabs in the upper snowpack that seemed well bonded and fairly unreactive. Avoided the steepest portion of the slope and skied creamy, low-angle powder.

Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/29/2020
Subject: Snowmobile Triggered Avalanche
Aspect: South West
Elevation: BTL

Avalanches: Kebler Pass Area. SW Aspect. Rider partially buried. triggered around 2pm. Clouds didn’t develop as forecasted. Partly Cloudy. Clouds a bit thicker right on the Ruby Range. High temps in the area near 30.

Beckwith Pass

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/28/2020
Name: Evan Ross & Eric Murrow
Subject: Beckwith Pass
Aspect: North, North East
Elevation: 10,000-11,500ft

Avalanches: Clear weather and great views. The recent avalanche activity on Ruby and Owen were the only avalanche obs of note.

Weather: Beautiful, clear and calm day. Some blowing snow could be seen off the high peaks in the morning, but otherwise nothing else noted.

Snowpack: About 3″ to 4″ of new snow in the area. Some recent wind effect and a little drifting in the new snow, but no Wind Slab issues were encountered. Deeper persistent slab issues were quiet with no obvious sings to instability. We managed the terrain with the potential consequence of a large slab in mind and reduced the likely-hood of trigging by further evaluating our travel on previously wind-loaded terrain and areas that the snowpack thinned.

Kebler

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/27/2020
Name: Eric Murrow
Subject: Kebler
Aspect: South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9200′ – 10700′

Avalanches: none observed

Weather: S-1 to S1 snowfall during early afternoon, moderate westerly winds blowing new snow around. New snow accumulation near Irwin reached a bit over 3 inches at 3pm.

Snowpack: Rambled snowmobiles around checking on crust formation from the past two days of warm weather. Steep, south-facing slopes had crusts close to 4cm thick at the lowest elevation close o 9K, but these were still fairly soft and not quite supportive to skis. As you transitioned to the east or west of south crust thinned and became weak, full-breaker riding conditions just beneath the new snow.

Irwin Cat Obs

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 01/26/2020
Name: Irwin Cat obs
Subject: Irwin Cat Obs
Aspect: Westerly

Avalanches:
Avalanche observations:
HS-AE-R2-D2-O FC (30cm x 75m x 200m) Apex of crown was ~170 cm for a width of ~3m then tapered towards an average of 30 cm on the remaining crown face and flanks.
SS-AB-R2-D2-I DF (20cm x 15m x 400m) Mostly just the most recent snow moving.
HS-AB-R2-D2-O FC (20cm x 50m x 200m)

Photos:

West Facing Snodgrass Tour

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/26/2020
Name: Zack Kinler & Eric Murrow
Subject: West Facing Snodgrass Tour
Aspect: West
Elevation: 9600′ – 10400′

Avalanches: Observed one fairly recent significant avalanche on Schuylkill Peaks east face. Appears as though a cornice fall triggered a relatively deep slab but did not propagate particularly far for the depth of failure. see photos

Weather: Light winds, decreasing clouds, strong solar and warm air temps.

Snowpack: Traveled through several short west-facing slopes on Snodgrass. HS through this terrain averaged around 115cm. The snow surface was a thin(1cm) and soft melt/freeze crust on due west slopes up to 10400′. Upper snowpack was up to 4finger soft slab resting on very weak facets in the middle of the pack which sat upon stronger facets above the ground (see photo). Hard propagating test results on this very weak snow in the middle of the snowpack but no collapsing or cracking on test slopes. A poor looking structure that could produce an avalanche on steep terrain or at locations with additional wind-loading. I would expect shallower portions of the forecast area to the east of Crested Butte would have even less slab formation on westerly slopes below treeline.

Photos:

Small wet slide on SW

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/26/2020
Subject: Small wet slide on SW
Aspect: South, South West
Elevation: 10,500

Avalanches: Triggered a small R1-D1 slow moving wet slide ran as a slab about 20 ft wide running 50ft downhill. Crown only about 6” deep.

Weather: Warm day. High of 38 in gothic.

Snowpack: S facing terrain had gone through a melt freeze with a breakable crust by 3:15pm. Small SW facing rolls were still wet.

Photos: