Afternoon sled about

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 03/12/2020
Name: Eric Murrow
Subject: Afternoon sled about
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9,400′ – 11,000′

Weather: Partly cloudy in the afternoon with light winds.

Snowpack: Took a couple of quick looks at east-facing slopes near 11,000′ feet in the afternoon checking on new snow accumulations and the impact of last week’s warm weather. Unlike more southerly slopes, east-facing terrain has yet to see water move through the snowpack much. It remains in the upper 30cm of the snowpack with dry winter-like conditions below. Snow surfaces on the east aspects observed remained dry, except for slopes at very low elevations below 10k, from the cloud cover early in the day with about 4″ of recent snow.

While traveling through sunnier slopes, I did not find much terrain with a concerning Wet Loose problem. Sunny slopes in the afternoon, below 10k, had a couple inches of wet storm and rain-soaked snow, but old crusts below seemed to hang on just enough to keep a lid on the Wet Loose problem. The few spots that may have presented a problem for skier-triggering were very shallow, less than 100cm deep and at very low elevations near valley bottoms.