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.