Beckwith Pass and Kebler Corridor

CBACCBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 12/13/2022
Name: Eric Murrow

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Kebler Pass road to Horse Ranch Park then up Cliff Creek route to Beckwith Pass.

Observed avalanche activity: No
Avalanches: non observed, visibility obscured views of the east end of East Beckwith or any other steep terrain in the area.
Weather: Overcast skies, moderate winds blowing west to east down the Kebler Pass corridor, light snowfall from 11am to 3pm. Storm totals ranged from 9 to 12 inches from Kebler Pass to Beckwith Pass. Snowfall rates during the day were light enough to be offset by the settlement in the storm snow already on the ground.
Snowpack: Near Beckwith Pass, I measured 11.5″of storm snow with .75″ of snow water equivalent. I dug a couple of profiles below treeline and found a snowpack that ranged from 100 to 130cm. Snowpack tests showed moderate propagating potential on basal facets. Given that the slab at this location (see photo) was nearly pencil hard, I think the .75″ of water in the storm snow had made the Persistent Slab problem more sensitive to the weight of a person, but not nearly enough to produce natural activity outside of highly drifted leeward features at upper elevations. I didn’t experience any collapsing while snowmobiling or while stomping through the slab directly above suspect test slopes. Due to slab thickness, around 90cm, and with a hardness near Pencil at the bottom of the slab, I would not really anticipate signs of instability in sheltered terrain until I found a trigger point. I also did not find any buried surface hoar beneath the storm snow in several suspect locations. I was able to produce cracking up to 15 feet in fresh, shallow drifts on lee features below treeline.