Lawd help us all – Mt. Axtell changes color from white to brown overnight

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021
Name: Zach Guy

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Mt. Axtell
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South
Elevation: Near to above treeline

Avalanches: Extensive persistent slab activity across the upper bowls of Mt. Axtell. Crowns averaged 4 feet deep breaking on weak layers near the ground. Some of the more impressive propagation across multiple start zones or whole bowls that I’ve seen up there. Debris piles from the two largest slides snapped lots of trees and reached well into valley runouts, D3.5 in size. Bedsurfaces had a few inches of snow on them; the slides ran last night sometime, on N, E, and S aspects. We didn’t observe any more natural activity on Axtell or surrounding terrain today. See photos for highlights.
Had good views of the W/SW side of Whetstone and no activity there. Decent views of the north side of Carbon and saw one D2.
Weather: Cool temps, mostly cloudy. Moderate winds with a few strong gusts in exposed terrain. Moderate drifting continued above treeline, light drifting near treeline.
Snowpack: About 6″ to 8″ of new snow near the bottom of the skin track. Riding out to Splains Gulch on sleds felt more like 15″ to 18″. We mostly traveled in dense trees, windswept ridgelines, or low angle south-facing terrain and only experienced one large collapse. We tried stomping near a few N/BTL start zones that didn’t run last night without results.

 

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