Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/20/2018
Name: Ben Pritchett, Evan Ross, Keith Bauer
Subject: Gothic Mountain Tour
One small (D1) storm slab on an East aspect at 10,700′ in a forest clearing.
Saw the debris from the Gothic North bowl slide filled the East River creek bed near the 401 / Copper Creek Trailhead.
Weather: Cold. Low visibility. Steady snowfall, light frigid winds. ~4″ new snow near town, ~10″ near Paradise Divide.
Snowpack: Surprisingly not a single collapse observed setting track from Gothic to 403 area down to Pittsburg. Settled, creamy snow surfaces.
Buried crusts down 25cm on Southeast slopes don’t have enough slab to be concerning yet – slab too soft. No propagation in ECT’s, though CT’s pop the facets buried below.
Pushed on several small wind drifts near treeline and these recent pillows and cornices showed only minor cracking near the surface.
If you’re feeding off the audible que’s and avoiding steep terrain, it’s easy to forget there are dangerous deeply buried weak layers in the shady steep terrain.