Elk Basin/ Scarp Ridge

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 02/19/2021
Name: Ian Havlick


Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Scarp ridge/Indy Basin/Elk Basin/Mount Emmons
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West
Elevation: 9,000-12,400


Avalanches: SS-N-R2-D2-O. Natural Persistent slab avalanche failing within last 24hrs on SE facing, heavily windloaded slope aet 12,000ft. Looked to have failed initally from cornice or additional windloading on 2/3 layer then quickly stepping down to rock on steep faceted slope. Debris ran far and entrained surprising amount of debris.
Weather: Cold. Blustery WNW winds 10-20 G40. Overcast. no new snow accumulation, minimal solar radiation.
Snowpack: Below and near treeline slopes ranged from 120-150cm+ in terrain traveled. Above treeline snowpack was variable as expected and scoured near ridgetop as per usual. Interesting reverse loading occurring with eroded cornices and deeper than expected sections of Scarp, especially above Evans Basin near the Gunsight Road. Pole probing continues to reveal poor structure with weak facets near the ground, although closer to 2-3mm facets in terrain I poked at. We traveled conservatively and assessed recent wind loading in terrain traveled and well as guarded against larger and wider slides given the structure