Date of Observation: 02/04/2022
Name: Zach Guy
Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: Gothic Mountain, traveled on S to E to NE aspects to 12600 ft.
Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: Skier triggered a loose snow avalanche on the east face that ran about 1500 vertical feet through the choke. The slide remained small, but would have been consequential in this terrain if someone were caught in it. The sluff appeared to pull out a few thin slabs (1″ to 4″ thick) within the gulley on its way down.
Weather: Light winds, varying from northwest to northeast. No transport. Clear skies.
Snowpack: South facing terrain has dust on thick crust; good slide for life conditions.
The east face slid to the ground at the end of the holiday cycle, so the snowpack there is very shallow and weak: about a foot deep and made up of large-grained facets (2-3mm). There was enough sastrugi textures and wind crusts at the surface to prevent constant sluffing, but we found one especially hollow spot that got the sandbox moving. The snowpack on the East Face is reminiscent of our early December snowpacks the last two years. Total garbage. There appeared to be some thin drifted slabs in concave terrain features (middle of gullies) left behind by last night’s upslope winds; identified by smooth textures compared to rippled texture elsewhere.