BTL snowpack is like a box of chocolates

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/16/2021
Name: Andrew Breibart

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: Walrod
Elevation: BTL

Avalanches: NA
Weather: calm winds at the surface and near/above freezing temperatures early AM. Mostly cloudy transitioning to partly cloudy skies.
north winds ATL and above appeared to be moderate by movement of winds but no wind transport observed on ridges.
Snowpack: Trace of graupel (1mm) in size.
Strong winds Wednesday and Thursday created a mosaic of stiff and soft wind slabs on all aspects in openings. Poking around in other areas resulted in unsupportive snow up to 12 inches. The snowpack here is shallow or devoid on southerly aspects with high incoming UVA radiation.

Snowpack is best summed up Forrest Gump:


wind event carnage at the anthracites

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/15/2021
Name: Mark Robbins


Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: anthracites

Avalanches: one small wind slab in 1/2 bowl of axtell, see photo. Some cracking on the ridge approaching top of AMR, see photo, and one settlement on the ridge as well.
Weather: windy. Still very windy.
Snowpack: we had the opportunity to sample a variety of snow conditions. Breaker windboard, supportive windboard, impenetrable windboard, breaker sastrugi, impenetrable sastrugi, wind stiffened, and even some merely wind fondled in the most protected trees left of friendly.



Wind blew the barn door open

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/14/2021
Name: Cosmo Langsfeld

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: Cement Creek
Elevation: 9250’

Weather: Literally. Also snow devils.

Snowpack: Wind died down late Thursday morning and picked up again in the evening. Wind drifts in the valley bottom on Thursday we’re small. Depth mostly measured in inches, not feet.

Washington Gulch

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/12/2021
Name: Evan Ross

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Aspect: West, North West
Elevation: 10,600-11,300

Weather: Clear sky in the morning, with high thin clouds moving in for the afternoon. Calm winds. Cold and inverted temps.

Snowpack: Headed back to some west and northwest terrain that I had traveled through 6 days ago. Back then we produced some, far-running, shooting cracks on the early December facets, and kept it conservative while traveling through the terrain. Today started off appearing quiet. A quick test pit showed a snowpack structure that wasn’t drastically different than 6 days ago. An ECTN result also started looking promising. HS at that site was about 80cm and the 4F to 1F- slab just barely couldn’t support boot pen, but obviously still supported skis nicely.

Once I got onto a few slopes we hadn’t previously traveled on, the collapsing snowpack and shooting cracks started to show up again. These cracks were not running as far as a week ago, but they still didn’t inspire confidence to get closer to bigger slopes. All the slopes I traveled through were relatively small and supported.

Swiss cheese?

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/12/2021
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Cool place
Aspect: North, North East
Elevation: 10,000-12,000

Avalanches: None
Weather: sunny, warm up high, calm
Snowpack: I don’t speak freaky deaky snow science but I do know this. The snowpack heading up to the ridge on a NE aspect was encouraging where it was deeper (120 cm) with a pretty stout “midpack.” Less encouraging when it got shallower and not so encouraging “midpack” (more like “midpunch”) due north 11,50-10,500 in areas that had not seen the sun. Like pole punchy with a smidge of resistance about 10 inches down and then no resistance to the ground. By the final pitch it was a facetfest. Swiss cheese? Spatial variability?


Snodgrass Obs

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/12/2021
Name: Alex Tiberio

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: NE side of snodgrass
Aspect: North, North East, East
Elevation: 10,500

Avalanches: Easy to trigger dry loose avalanches in steep terrain

Snowpack: Seems as though everywhere we traveled the slab had faceted away. The one formal pit we dug at 10,600 produced ECTN results

Large slide on Bellview

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/10/2021
Name: Zach Guy

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Mt. Bellview
Aspect: South East
Elevation: ATL

Avalanches: Large slab avalanche on the SE face of Bellview noted yesterday. We suspect this ran naturally during the windloading on 1/6.  Let us know if you have other information on the timing or trigger.


Loose Dry, Again…

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/10/2021
Name: Emilio Alcala


Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: Gunsight Pass Rd, below Wolverine
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 10,026


Avalanches: Loose Dry Sluff on NE slope 38 deg.
Weather: Partly Sunny, Calm



Stay Snoddy

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/09/2021
Name: Chris Martin


Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: Snodgrass/Gothic Road
Aspect: North, North East, East
Elevation: 9000′-10000′


Avalanches: Continue to hear localized whumps in undisturbed snow where slabs remain stiff.
Weather: Partly Cloudy, warm, Sunny, no winds, Cold end to the day below Gothic road around the northern captures of the compass.
Snowpack: Toured from East onto the N-NE portion of the compass, BTL. Observed slabs decomposing into softer snow. Where we dug, we still observe a F-1F slab structure, that 1F portion has shrunk with time, slowly becoming softer from the top down. From last weekend to now, we are no longer seeing propagating test results in this location. Where slabs remain stiff in isolated terrain, localized whumpfs continue to be experienced.

HS 80cm Snodgrass 9800′

48 cm 1F-F Slab that is deteriorating
-over- (DEC 10th PWL 2-3mm FC)
32cm FC/DH 2-3mm

No propagating test results on DEC 10th Layer
CTMSC 48cm down (Dec 10th PWL)