Cruising around the CB area

CB Avalanche Center 2018-19 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/21/2019
Name: Eric Murrow and Zach Kinler

Subject: Cruising around the CB area
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: 9,400′-11,145


In a quick trip out to Brush Creek trailhead, we observed D1-D2 avalanches on pretty much every steep (35 deg+), unsupported, Easterly slope above and below ditch trail. These failed near the ground of this very weak and shallow snowpack during our last loading event.

Along Gothic Road, again, multiple D1-D2 avalanches on steep, East aspects below the road. Similar to Brush Creek, these ran at the bottom of the snowpack on a crust sitting on top of faceted snow 15cm from ground.

Weather: Cloudy skies, light-moderate SW winds below tree line with occasional gusting, snow showers starting @ 12:00 with 2″-3″ accumulations during the afternoon tour. Temps in the mid 20’s.

Snowpack: Toured Northeast and East slopes below tree line with HS ~120 cm on NE and ~100cm on East.

A crown profile from a recent D2 avalanche on NE @ 10,200′ that likely ran towards the end of the most recent loading on 1/18, revealed the crown was an average of 45 cm and ran on the upper most of 3 SH layers that were observed in this location.

The snowpack was talking to us very little today with non-propagating long column results and no cracking or collapsing, however consistent slab over weak snow was felt with ski poles, SH layers were clearly visible in pit walls and lots of recent avalanche activity kept terrain choices conservative.