Don’t forget the sunscreen

CBAC 2016-17 Observations, 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 03/30/2021
Name: Jack Caprio, Eric Murrow

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Kebler Corridor
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South
Elevation: 9,500′-12,000′

Avalanches: No new avalanches observed

Weather:  Sky cover became partly cloudy in the morning with lots of sunshine by noon. Light northerly winds with moderate gusts. Warm temperatures near and below treeline out of the wind.


We targeted wind-loaded slopes up to 12k in search of wind slab and persistent slab problems.  Recent wind-drifting in this area did not create much Wind Slab formation. We did step into steep N-facing, slightly wind-loaded alpine terrain. Near ridgeline, N/ NW wind events throughout the season had made the snowpack very shallow. The first 50 vertical feet down consisted of a very shallow mix of facets and thin windboard layers. After about 50 vertical feet the snowpack became deep and uniform again and we saw no signs of instability.

We briefly ascended a southeast-facing slope near treeline without much previous drifting and found HS between 70 and 100cm with a moist surface crust just supportive enough to carry skis, but not boots.  The snowpack below was weak isothermal snow to the ground without any slab.