Below Treeline Obs Snodgrass-Gothic Zone

CB Avalanche Center 2018-19 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/01/2019
Name: Tim Brown

Subject: Below Treeline Obs Snodgrass-Gothic Zone
Aspect: East, South West, West, North West
Elevation: 9,400-11,000′

Avalanches:

no new avalanches, cracking or collapsing

Weather: Bluebird day with intense solar radiation, clear skies all day, warm (>0C at 11,000′ at noon), CALM in am, LIGHT winds from NW in afternoon, no blowing snow.

Snowpack: Snow depth varied from ~100cm on Westerly aspects to ~160cm on East aspects in open terrain below treeline. The entire snowpack is mostly faceted throughout this elevation band, but the mid-pack was more supportive on the deeper, East-facing slopes. East aspects harbored three distinct layers of buried surface hoar (5cm, 45cm and 70cm below the surface) under fist hard, 4 finger hard and 1 finger hard slabs, respectively. Despite these concerning layers, snowpack tests (CTN, ECTX) failed to produce positive results on an East-facing 32 degree open slope at 10,900′ with foot penetration of 45cm and ski penetration of 30cm. Continuous crust-facet combinations were present in the top 30-60cm on 30 degree Southwest-facing slopes without much recent loading, but absent on lower-angle West-facing slopes ~10,600′. The top 10-20cm became moist on steeper sun-exposed slopes below treeline today.
Photos: