Below treeline in Northwest Zone

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains

Location: Purple Palace terrain

Date of Observation: 12/03/2020

Name: Eric Murrow


Subject: Below treeline in Northwest Zone

Aspect: North, North East, East

Elevation: 9,600′ – 11,300′


One small skier triggered Loose Dry avalanche.


Weather: Clear, sunny skies. Calm to light winds.

Snowpack: This was just a quick trip to look at the snowpack on shady terrain below treeline in the snow favored part of the forecast area. East facing slopes show very weak faceted snow at the surface resting on a faceting melt/freeze crust – challenging to skin on. Northerly slopes in this area range from 50 to 70 and remain supportive to boots and skis with relatively dense lower snowpack. Surface snow is losing strength each day. Shady, protected slopes over 38 degrees you can trigger small Dry Loose avalanches that do not gouge and entrain the top 15 to 20 cm. Great riding conditions.  The surface hoar that has been observed just beneath the surface in other parts of forecast area was spotty in this area – found two places that had it, but surface hoar was small and sporadic.