Anthracite Range

CB Avalanche Center 2015-16 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 12/15/2015
Name: Evan Ross, Zach Guy
Subject: Anthracite Range
Aspect: North, East, South
Elevation: 10,000-11,500

Avalanches: A few very small soft slabs that appeared to be about 4″ deep, failing within the storm snow, on a SSE near ridgeline. The crowns had started filling back in and estimations were tough. Several, small skier triggered sluffs in steep terrain.
Weather: Overcast sky. Snow showers were steady in the morning before tapering by 11am with a few short, heavy bursts in the afternoon. At ridgeline winds were westerly to northwesterly. Before noon they were light with moderate gusts, then increasing around 2:30 and becoming more steady at moderate speeds. Cold temps.
Snowpack: By 3pm, storm snow accumulations where in the 14-17″ of low density snow around 11,000ft.  Most of the accumulations came last night and early this morning.  Near ridgeline this snow was fairly evenly distributed between north, south and east, with little signs of recent loading.  A sparsely treed ridgeline in the distance  looked much more wind effected with snow being deposited on a SE-S aspect. Noticed a few isolated areas with some wind texture on the surface, but didn’t find signs of slabbiness in the new snow where we traveled. Column tests and hand pits generally crumbed away during isolation, and cracking was confined to a few inches on slopes up to 40 degrees.  Below treeline the old snow interface was generally very weak on north and east aspects. Valley winds were adding some texture to the snow surface in the late afternoon, increasing cohesion.  Found about 10″ of storm snow at 9,660 near splains Gulch at 4pm.