Below Tree line Wet Stuff

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 04/06/2020
Name: Zach Kinler
Aspect: North, North East, East, South, South West, West
Elevation: 9,800-11,000′

Several Wet Loose on steep southerlies near treeline on Red Rock Ridge.
D2 Cornice triggered slab avalanche off Scarp Ridge above Peeler Basin
D1.5 Cornice triggered slab avalanche immediately adjacent to above avalanche.

Weather: Beautiful day with lots of sun. Temps were well above freezing. SW winds felt nice in open areas while sheltered slopes felt the warmest of the year.

Snowpack: Began the tour on E aspects around 12:00 with lots of collapsing and cracking around skis. Quick upper snowpack pit at 9,800′ revealed CT13 SC results beneath a moist crust around 25 cm deep. Moving to a NE aspect at 10,000, free water had made it to a crust/facet combo around 30cm deep with ECTP7 results. On a N aspect at 10,000′ no free water was present but easy hand shears revealed 1 mm facets around 35 cm deep. Lower elevations may be seeing water at this interface if not soon. Moving around S towards W aspects in the afternoon and a similar structure as the E aspect was encountered with moist yet somewhat supportive melt forms forming a slab-like structure over very weak and moist facets below. Cracking and collapsing of up to 30′ was observed on slopes up to 30 degrees as well as ECTP11 and ECTP12 results on W aspect at 11K. Several inches of wet surface snow was present E-S-W aspects with Wet Loose avalanches possible on slopes greater than 35 degrees. Overall structure in this zone at these elevations was poor with slabs over very large and weak grains.