Date of Observation: 03/05/2021
Name: Ben Pritchett and Bo Torey
Zone: Southeast Mountains
Location: Upper Cement Creek and Upper Taylor River
Elevation: up to 9,000-12,400′
Avalanches: 3 small wet loose avalanches ran above treeline on steep rocky south-facing slopes in the Upper Taylor River headwaters. Surprisingly no other wet loose avalanches observed. Numerous roller balls seen, but none that gouged or spread into a pushy wet avalanche.
Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: Calm
Temperature: 43 F
Sky Cover: Clear
Depth of Total Snow: 150 cm
Weather Description: Warm, calm day. No blowing snow observed.
Snowpack: The upper snowpack is gaining strength and making it more difficult to influence weak snow below. Average snowpack in the upper Cement Creek and upper Taylor River headwaters area ranged from 130-160cm. Multiple ECT’s failed to produce propagating results in the normal loading steps. Removing part of the slab, and slamming on the remaining thin slab did produce a propagating result in one profile. East to south to west-facing slopes with a lot of sun have grown crusty, with rills developing in the snow surface near and below treeline. We experienced a pair of collapses, with long-running shooting cracks, over 50′ long, in the valley bottom. Alpine surfaces are highly variable, with a few inches of fresh snow obscuring highly textured and dense old wind textures. Near treeline shady surfaces were soft, but dense enough for reliable sled and boot support.