Maritime in the Rockies

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 11/20/2017
Name: Ben Pritchett
Subject: Maritime in the Rockies
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 10,600′
Tried to go hunting for a persistent slab problem in the Anthracites, but the snowpack was simply too thin to pose an avalanche threat.  Reversed course and drove to Rustler’s Gulch to see if the persistent slab problem existed around the Schofield Pass elevation.

Avalanches:

Observed several old avalanches, previously reported, off Baldy’s NE face into Emerald Lake.

Snowpack:

Pretty thin out there overall.  Generally 30-4ocm in most of the upper East River Valley.  Only very near Schofield Pass did we get into a deeper snowpack that averaged ~50cm.

The low snow levels at the beginning of the November 17th storm limited accumulations until the second half of the storm, when the graupel began to pile up!  During the beginning of the storm slashing rain fell in downtown Crested Butte, and here in the upper East River valley mixed rain and snow fell and formed a crust at the bottom of the storm snow.

The snowpack we observed at this site was “right side up” with, with no results in multiple snowpack tests.

Looking at the landscape, the Persistent Slab problem appears isolated across the mountain range, found only in a small proportion of the higher elevation Northly slopes of the Ruby Range and Schofield Pass area.

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