Avalanche inspections and wet snow conditions

CBAC CBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 03/01/2022
Name: Ben Pritchett Eric Murrow

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Keberl Pass corridor to snowbike avalanche slope near the Y and Red Lady Bowl in the afternoon

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: Inspected the previously reported avalanches near they Y and in Red Lady Bowl.
Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: Calm
Wind Loading: None
Temperature: 50 F
Sky Cover: Clear
Weather Description: Very warm day, full sun, no wind.
Snowpack: We found 1-finger hard slabs resting on Fist-hard facets. The slabs were soft on top, stiffer at the bottom, with an obvious dirt stripe above the faceted weak layer.
At a northwest-facing crown profile above a snowbike-triggered avalanche from Sunday, we found a reactive, dry snowpack. ECTP 14 on the dry-spell weak layer.
Traveling through sunny, southerly-facing terrain on Mt. Emmons, we experienced many dozen collapses with long-running (100’s of feet) cracks. Meltwater reached the dry-spell facets and created unstable conditions.
A profile on the flank of a large skier-triggered avalanche in Red Lady Bowl showed the meltwater reached the weak layer yesterday. Water wicked through the low-porosity facets. Today, meltwater reached another 10 to 12 inches below the facets into the upper part of the Holiday Slab.