Date of Observation: 01/06/2021
Name: Eric Murrow Evan Ross
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Gothic Mountain
Aspect: West, North West
Elevation: 10,500ft to 11,200ft
Weather: Northwesterly winds moving snow at upper elevations, otherwise calm conditions where we traveled. Few clouds.
Snowpack: Traveled on west to northwest facing slopes below treeline. With some extra effort and a few heavy bounces, we were repeatably able to produce collapses and some long-running shooting cracks. These results were primarily failing on the early December facets. Those cracks ran into slope angels that reached up to about 35 degrees and sometimes displaced a couple of inches. A steeper or unsupported slope may have been necessary for an avalanche to release. We didn’t have the confidence to climb higher in the terrain since lower angle or low consequence route options were not closely available.
Looking at near treeline terrain. The avalanche problem appeared to be slightly more specific to the cross-loaded or gullied portions of the terrain. The same characteristics extended above treeline, but appeared even more isolated in the terrain due to more wind-scoured snow.