Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/04/2019
Name: Steve Banks
Subject: Gothic Valley Obs
Aspect: North East, East, South East, South
Several avalanche observations from D1 persistent slabs to D4 wind slabs in the Gothic Valley:
Numberous D1s on steep banks of East River. These ran on or near the ground. It did appear as though these areas had little snow previously, so perhaps repeat offenders? North and NE aspects
Large crowns noted on Easterly aspects of Mt. Belleview and Avery Peak. Steep wind loaded terrain with wide propagation, likely D3 or greater in size.
2 slabs noted on lower flanks of WSC Peak, S-SW aspects, D2. Notably, these seemed to have failed at the new snow/old snow interface as the bed surface appeared to be the old crust (2/28)
We observed the debris from previously reported East Face of Gothic slides. Whoa. Big time debris with lost of mature timber knocked down and water pushed out of the river. Heard the North Bowl of Gothic also ran today around 1 pm and hit the Judd Falls TH toilets again.
Weather: Sunny morning with increasing clouds and strong orographic snow showers and winds in the afternoon. Temps got warm with strong solar. Afternoon winds picked up from the West and transporting snow in the peaks was noted all day. Surprisingly heavy snowfall began around 3 pm and continued to 6 pm. 2” accumulate quickly.
Snowpack: The new snow is settle in quickly with ski pen half of yesterday, around 15 cms today. Snow surface became moist on SE-S facing slopes and will have a crust tomorrow. Storm totals in the 100 cm range and fairly evenly distributed. Total HS 140-208 cms. Digging to the ground in a flat location at 9,400 showed a very dense slab resting over sugary facets at the bottom.