Cracking/collapsing on Whetstone

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/07/2016
Name: Zach Guy
Subject: Cracking/collapsing on Whetstone
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 10,000-11,000 ft

Avalanches: Most obvious paths ran naturally in this terrain on 2/1. D1.5 to D2’s in size. Took a quick look at one crown; ~2 ft thick over F+ 2-3mm facets. These paths also ran in December. Unfortunately, the bedsurfaces are crusty and there is 3-6″ inches of faceting snow above them already, ripe for 3x repeat offender if we get another big storm.
Weather: Light winds below treeline. Continued snow transport observed over Anthracite Range and West Elk Range, but minimal transport looking towards Pearl Pass, Brush, Cement, etc. Few clouds.
Snowpack: See video. On shaded low angle terrain below treeline, the snowpack was 50cm of slab (F to 4F+) over 50 cm of facets (Jan 14 interface, F+, 1-2mm). We crossed about 10 open meadows, and got 2 rumbling collapses. One as we regrouped and were stepping out of skis, the other by jumping on the snowpack on skis. The Jan 29th surface hoar layer (2-4mm, F) is also preserved about 30-35 cm deep, and propagated in 2 out of 3 of our extended column tests. (ECTPM, SC, Q1). We got several shooting cracks up to 20 feet long on this layer on small rollovers.

Profile NE aspect BTL

Profile NE aspect BTL