Crested Butte Area

Name: Nick Schley
Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 12/15/2014
Aspect: East, South East, South
Elevation: 8,900-11,500

Avalanches: We enjoyed deep skiing on eastern aspects from 32-38 degrees, with clean run outs and good visibility. Multiple loose snow skier triggered avalanches occurred on slopes steeper than 35 degrees all to be classified as R-1 D-1 and running relatively slow. The most significant of which ran ~150 vertical ft and did not gouge to the ground. We opted out of steeped wooded terrain near 10,000 ft skiing gunsight pass road back to slate river instead.

Weather: Broken sky’s with brief stints of S-1 snow before 9:00am, Clear sky’s after 10:00, light NW winds at ridgetops near 11,500ft.

Snowpack: New snow ranged between 2.5″ at the car to 7” near and above treeline. Storm snow was low density and lacked cohesive “slabby” characteristics near tree line. Periods of light to moderate snow transport were observed near Mount Emmons summit, possibly creating touchy wind slabs but lower elevation slopes showed signs of little blowing snow last night. 1-3cm winds slabs were encountered intermittently on southerly slopes. North facing slopes remain entirely rotten with very little density change and an average HS of 50cm near treeline. Eastern slopes also held early entirely faceted pack near and above treeline while lower elevation slopes had thin unsupportable crusts on the Dec. 13 interface. Southern aspects varied in relationship with shade. Shadier slopes often had ski pen 45, while sun exposed slopes held supportable crusts. By 13:00 thin solar crusts had developed on top of new snow with southern tilts around 9,200ft.