Gothic Road

CBAC 2014-15 Observations

Name: Donny
DATE: 15-01-18
LOCATION: Above and below the road to Gothic
ELEVATION: 9150’ to 9850’
ASPECT: NE
WEATHER: Clear, calm and warm (mid-20s)

SNOWPACK/AVALANCHE OBS: I am fascinated by this snowpack at the moment.  Clearly it is faceting quickly.  Average HS was 100cm and ski pen while skinning was anywhere from 15cm to 50cm+.  Ski pen while descending was more like 20cm through dry, fast facets.  We had significant signs of instability on all three runs.  Whumpfing and collapsing on everything from the flats to 35º slopes.  I made a big, forceful turn on a convex rollover and we got a big whumpf, but nothing moved.  Is the slab faceting and loosing cohesion, but the buried surface hoar still reacts?  After guiding at tree line and below tree line for eight out of the past ten days, I have seen the signs of instability increase each day.  Yet I feel like it would be really difficult to trigger a slide.  (This says nothing of larger, alpine features.  I have no observations.)