Fresh Windslabs

Location: Crested Butte Area, Mt Emmons
Date of Observation: 12/25/2016
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Fresh Windslabs
Aspect: South East, South
Elevation: 9,200-11,800. BTL/NTL

Avalanches: Skier triggered a few small windslabs from ridgeline at NTL elevation. These slabs were about 8″ to 12″ thick at 3pm and continuing to build.
Weather: Oooo blustery. Strong down valley winds in the Kebler Pass corridor and strong to extreme westerly winds at higher elevations. Snowing, but couldn’t make a call on hourly rates with all the wind.
Snowpack: Late afternoon tour. Cross loaded slopes BTL, and would have managed them for potential windslabs up to 12″ thick. At NTL elevations recent wind loading was obvious with observed slabs also in the 12″ range on the few easterly slopes I traveled above. Quick observations didn’t reveal any persistent weak layers and avalanche obs didn’t show much for propagation in this area.

Small skier triggered windslab at NTL elevation on easterly aspect.

Small skier triggered windslab at NTL elevation on easterly aspect.

Wind loading at 9,500ft