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.

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