Mooiiist snow

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains

Location: Mt. Owen

Date of Observation: 11/18/2020

Name: Zach Guy

 

Subject: Mooiiist snow

Aspect: North, North East, East, South East

Elevation: 10,500 – 12,800′

Avalanches:

No recent activity

Weather: Unusually warm temps. Strong SW winds but no snow transport. Scattered clouds.

Snowpack: We found good stability on various aspects. On the southern half of the compass, the snow surface was moist or wet from warm temps, often isothermal through the whole snowpack. Expect a crust of varying thickness going into the weekend. Northerly aspects hold dry snow, a mix of softer sastrugi and wind-packed rounds on the surface. No notable persistent weak layers on the surface at the moment thanks to abusive winds and sun, and a generally a homogenous 4-finger snowpack from surface to ground on all but due north aspects. On a NNE aspect, we found the 11/6 facet layer lurking below 70 cm of slab, but it was discontinuous due to talus on the ground. It did not produce concerning pit results or signs of instabilities. We skied steep terrain on both north and east aspects with no instabilities.

Photos:

Hiding from the Wind

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Southeast Mountains

Location: Washington Gulch

Date of Observation: 11/14/2020

Name: Cam S

 

Subject: Hiding from the Wind

Aspect: North East

Elevation: Below Treeline

Avalanches:

None observed

Weather: Winds were howling down the valley but nice and calm in the trees. Snowfall stopped by morning but the winds kept up all day long. This is probably news to no one…

Snowpack: Consistently about 50cm HS on low elevation densely treed slopes. As far as I could tell the snow on the ground was all from the previous 7 days. No signs of instability observed.

Kebler Area Sunday

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains

Location:

Date of Observation: 11/15/2020

Name: Cam S

 

Subject: Kebler Area Sunday

Aspect: North, North East, North West

Elevation: BTL to NTL

Avalanches:

None observed

Weather: Overcast above the CB mtns all morning. You could peek at some sunshine over Paonia and Gunnison areas. Warm for a November morning. Welcome calm winds after the blustery start to the weekend.

Snowpack: Open slopes had an obvious stiff layer on the surface from Saturday’s winds. I would guess anywhere from 1-4 inches thick. Snow depth was generally 50cm to 100 in isolated freshly wind drifted areas. No signs of instability or avalanches observed EXCEPT some cracking and shlumping whole cutting a steep drifted rollover & a large whoomph on a well established skintrack we had already been traveling on all morning. The whoomph occurred in a shallower N facing area, about 50cm HS, at 11,000 ft. It felt like there was faceted October snow at the ground while probing around with a pole in that spot.

Kebler Pass afternoon obs

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Kebler Pass to Anthracites ridgeline
Date of Observation: 11/14/2020
Name: Zack Kinler Eric Murrow

Subject: Kebler Pass afternoon obs

Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, West, North West

Elevation: 10,000 to 11,250

Weather: Decreasing cloud cover, no accumulating snowfall, and strong northwest winds afternoon. Air temps noticeably decreased throughout the tour. Blowing snow was common at all elevations; much of the transported snow near and above treeline was blasted into the atmosphere or loaded lower on slopes than usual.

Snowpack: It was difficult to find a good place to measure the new snow, but it was around 10 to 12 inches. Strong northwest winds pounded through much of the open terrain leaving soft, “breaker” wind board mixed in with some pockets of soft snow. Snow surfaces were disturbed by the wind on almost all slopes. Westerly and northwesterly alpine features were largely blown back to ground.

We traveled through BTL and NTL northerly slopes largely looking at the old snow from October. Snow depth was around 60 cm. In this area, NE and N facing slopes had developed a soft crust around an inch thick (~2cm) above the thin layer of weak snow at the ground. Tests did not produce propagating results. We did not experience any significant cracking or collapsing, but we did not travel through any features with significant previous drifting. The weak layer may have been a bit too thin to overcome ground roughness through much of the terrain we looked at.

Crossed a southeasterly slope at 11,200′ and found the new snow sitting on a soft crust around an inch thick.

Photos:

7 am Gothic Weather Update

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: Gothic Townsite
Date of Observation: 11/14/2020
Name: Billy Barr
Subject: 7 am Gothic Weather Update

Weather: Very strong wind overnight with snow starting around midnight and blizzard conditions. Moderate snowfall with 5″ new and water 0.35″ and steady west wind 10-15, gusts into the 30’s. Currently the snowpack is at 10″ with no visibility, strong wind and light snowfall.

Schofield Pass walkabout

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Schofield Pass / Elko Park – Parked at Rock Slabs before Emerald Lake gorge. Skied Schofield Pass road into Elko Park.
Date of Observation: 11/13/2020
Name: Ben Pritchett

Subject: Schofield Pass walkabout

Aspect: North West

Elevation: Near Treeline

Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: 5-10 mph
Ridgeline Wind Direction: W
Wind Loading: None
Temperature: 30 F
Sky Cover: Overcast
Depth of Total Snow: 50 cm
Weather Description: Light snow showers in morning with only a trace of accumulation. The sun returned in the afternoon under partly cloudy skies. Light winds with no transport seen at ridgetops.

Snowpack: Snowpack Description: Went looking at northwest-facing terrain to see if it will be problematic with the next storm. Found many alpine northwest facing slopes wind-scoured back to rock. But near and below treeline I found a layer of weak faceted snow near the ground, similar to what’s present on north and northeast facing terrain. The biggest difference is that on some slopes there’s also a thin melt-freeze crust above the faceted snow that’s worth keeping an eye on as slabs develop this winter. The snowpack on east to south to west facing terrain remains dense, rounded, and supportive to a skier’s weight.

Photos:

Photos from Kebler Pass road.

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Anthracites
Date of Observation: 11/13/2020
Name: Ben Pritchett

Subject: Photos from Kebler Pass road.

Aspect: North West

Elevation: Near Treeline

Snowpack: Fairly consistent coverage without dramatic wind scouring.

Photos:

Small naturals

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains

Location: Ruby Range

Date of Observation: 11/11/2020

Name: Zach Guy

Subject: Small naturals

Aspect: East

Elevation: to 11,800′

Avalanches:

Good views of various aspects in the Ruby Range. Nothing significant of note, although winds had reworked the surfaces in the last couple of days. I noted one small debris pile below the south face of Mineral Point (see photo), and got a second-hand report of a small debris pile below the north face of Ruby.

Weather: Clear skies, light winds with occasional drifting snow. Strong diurnal temperature swing.

Snowpack: Traveled primarily on east aspects: no signs of instability, just recent snow on dirt. The snow surface is already starting to facet.

Photos:

Welcome back winter!

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains

Location: Upper Slate

Date of Observation: 11/10/2020

Name: Zach Guy and Zach Kinler

Subject: Welcome back winter!

Aspect: North East, East, South East

Elevation: 9700-11,600′

Avalanches:

None observed. Limited visibility of alpine terrain.

Weather: Broken to overcast skies. Moderate northwest winds at ridgetop. Very light snowfall (S-1).

Snowpack: Simple snowpack with minimal signs of instability. 15″ to 18″ of right-side-up storm snow across previous bare ground. Previous drifting from the southwest had left drifts up to 3′. Shifting winds were lightly redistributing the snow off of northerly aspects this afternoon. In a few wind drifted features, we produced stubborn cracking up to 10″ deep and 8′ long. We went sniffing for a persistent slab problem on shady aspects here but couldn’t find direct feedback. On a northeast aspect at 11,000′, we found old faceted and crusty snow near the ground, but it wasn’t propagating in pits and didn’t produce any obvious signs of instability (see photo). The layer was only an inch thick on the ground and somewhat discontinuous here due to rocks and shrubs.

Photos:

Gothic 11/9

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains

Location: Gothic Campground

Date of Observation: 11/09/2020

Name: steve banks

 

Subject: Gothic 11/9

Aspect: North East

Elevation: 9,500

Avalanches:

none

 

Weather: Temps in the 20’s with intermittent down valley winds. Snowfall ranged from S-1 to S2 with an additional 1.5 inches of accumulation from noon to 3 pm

Snowpack: 8-10″ total snowpack. We did see cracking and some slumping of the very new snow which was surprising given the F to F+ hardness of the snowpack. Snow at the ground was moist and easily created snowballs.

Photos: