Crested Butte Area

CB Avalanche Center 2014-15 Observations

Name: Will Dujardin
Location: Snodgrass Weather Station Pits 12-28-14
Date of Observation: 12/28/2014
Aspect: North East
Elevation: 11120

Weather: Light snow and low clouds, very light wind.

Snowpack: We dug two pits just approx. 3.5 feet deep to the ground right next to each other on slightly different slopes (30 degrees and 37 degrees) on the NE aspect just below the weather station. We isolated two blocks to test the storm snow and the persistent slab in both pits. The 18~” of storm snow sluffed away in both pits to shovel taps. The 30 degree pit we were able to get the isolated persistent slab to go with applied boot pressure, in the 37 degree pit we had the storm slab (just above the top of the shovel in photo 1) go with a single skicut to the back, like a Rutschblock test of sorts, and the persistent slab to go with a boot kick in the same spot. See attached photos to see what the ski cut did in the 37 degree pit. It seems like it’s definitely harder, but not that hard, to trigger that persistent slab, and the slab formed from the recent storms is very touchy, it could definitely knock you down or bury you in a terrain trap, and if it stepped down to the persistent slab it would result in a massive avalanche . We skied back the low angle E-SE aspects to avoid the NE avalanche problem. Sorry for the lack of technical terminology!