Washington Gulch/Baldy

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 04/12/2020
Name: Zach Kinler and Eric Murrow
Aspect: North East, East, South East, South, South West, West
Elevation: 9,600′-12,500′
Avalanches:

D1.5 Wind Slab on an east aspect above tree line on Afley Peak
Observed a D1.5 wind slab on a NE aspect at 11,800′, previously reported in another ob.
2 very small wind slabs on an east aspect below a small cornice

 

Weather: Light and variable winds in sheltered areas gave way to gusty westerly winds near ridgelines and on exposed alpine terrain. Mostly Cloudy skies gave way to a bit of sun around 15:00. Temps were noticeably cooler than previous days although not that mid-winter cold.

Snowpack: 6″ HST with lower elevations seeing similar amounts as upper elevations. 3″ MFcr was observed on a West aspect around 9,800. This crust was supportable to ski with a firm boot step breaking through to wet grains below but presents no threat of breaking down in the next couple days with the current cooling trend. Crusts were supportive to ski and boot, around 4-6 inches, as we moved above tree line on slopes facing E-S with avalanche concerns in the new snow only. Strong westerly wind was drifting snow into slabs up to a foot and a half deep on the lee side of the ridge. This stiffened snow was noticeable underfoot and confined to areas on and just under ridgeline producing localized cracking and one collapse. No avalanche concerns were encountered outside of drifted features. Winds continued to drift snow throughout the tour. New snow became moist in sheltered areas on the southern half of the compass below around 11K.