Gothic Area

Guides(s): Jeff
Date: 20150104
Level One Avy Course, Tour Day
Location: East River Valley/Gothic
Elevation: 9400′ – 10,000
Aspect: SW-N-ENE

Weather: Variable/Overcast, flat light, dry most of the day, a few flurries. Winds light to strong, mostly N channeled down valley.

Snowpack/Avalanche Obs: Approximately 12 recent avalanches along Snodgrass seen from the Gothic road.  Looked like skier triggered within the PWL.  ~5 D1.5’s (small but going into gulley terrain traps where the debris piled up deeply) ~7 X D2’s.  At the far end of Gothic Mtn (across the bridge) we remotely triggered a D1.5 from ~50m away on a 25* slope.  the whole slope cracked & the pocket went within the PWL of very large facets.  looked like 33-35* slope angle from 50m.

Overall, snowpack is shallow & week 50-100cm.

We got collapses & shooting cracks on a SW (240*) slope BTL @15* (guessing the crust wasn’t strong enough in a semi shaded low < slope).

Ditto on W, E, ENE  (Pit collapsed before we dug it on the approach!)

Probably 10 collapses in all spanning large distances.

ENE pit: The structure is >5mm Facets w/ soft (often 4F slab over the top).

WSW pit: (10 m away from above pit) 25* slope, knife hard 6cm crust over facets with perc. columns in the facets showed no propagation and only Q2/Q3 failures within the top layers resting on crust.