Gothic area obs

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area & Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/15/2020
Name: Ben Pritchett and Evan Ross
Subject: Gothic area obs

Avalanches: A fresh very large natural avalanche ran on a southerly facing slope. The slab appears to have released under a cross-loaded cornice on southeast-facing fracture, but propagated broadly, wrapping to south, then south-west facing terrain. It released near the ground.

Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: 20-30 mph
Ridgeline Wind Direction: W
Wind Loading: Light
Temperature: 30 F
Sky Cover: Overcast
Depth of Total Snow: 120 cm
Most Significant Precip Rate: S-1 – < 1 cm/hr
Weather Description: Partly cloudy becoming overcast by mid-afternoon. Spitting snow off and on mid-afternoon, no accumulation. Strong winds aloft, but sheltered and pretty warm where we traveled with no drifting close by. Light drifting above treeline

Snowpack: Nice snow surfaces for incoming storm – well settled, dense, and decomposing grains, near zero C. A couple of faint, muffled collapses in weak spots near old drifted slabs, but no cracking. No consistent persistent slab structure observed in this terrain, though we still avoided slopes over 40 degrees that dumped into terrain traps. 2/3 facet layer is somewhat weaker than near surface snow above it, but all pretty close to 4 Finger stiff.

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