CB Avalanche Center 2017-18 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 01/23/2018
Name: Ian Havlick

Subject: Baxter/Cascade
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West
Elevation: 9600-11700


Observed a handful of suspiciously fresh avalanches, primarily on east facing, near and above treeline terrain, looked 10-20″ deep on steep slopes. One slide in particular looked very fresh near “Birthday bowl” (i believe) on Schuykill ridge–very popular run. Didnt see it on the way in, noticed late in day on return, no binoculars, so hard to verify age. D2 in size.

Weather: Mostly clear, a few wisps of clouds in the afternoon hanging around high peaks. Temperatures stayed chilly, even in afternoon. Highs in high teens, low 20s. Light breeze from WNW.

Snowpack: Snowpack traveled today was mix of setting powder from last storm, sastrugi, and stiff, dense wind stiffened snow from last 2 days of W-NW winds. Focused observations on southerly half of compass near and above treeline. Somewhat concerning snowpack structure with 2 significant layers to watch. One being the ~Jan 20th meltfreeze crust (and 1mm facets) which was buried by our last storm and windloading, and the second being the buried 2-3mm facets near the ground, both found consistently across southerly terrain. PST30/100end on 12/23 solstice facets on 38º, SE facing roll near treeline. ECTV on same layer, failing on isolation, 10cm off ground. Most suspect slopes on southern half of compass seem to be those steep, 35º+ slopes, which have seen significant (2ft+) windloading over the last few days, straining persistent weak layers. Observed one naturally failing steep drift on ascent.