Moistening begins

CB Avalanche Center2016-17 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/29/2017
Name: Tim Brown
Subject: Moistening begins
Aspect: South, South West
Elevation: 8,950’ to 10,000′

Weather: Clear and calm, warming from ~0-20*F with strong solar radiation.
Snowpack: Several collapses (estimated 20-30m radius) in open meadows and low-angle aspen groves. Found the Jan 19th interface ~40cm down with surface hoar above a crust and facets below it. No snowpack tests. Presence of the surface hoar was enough information to know we wanted to avoid traveling on or under steep slopes.

A new layer of surface hoar was widespread but more pronounced in the valley bottom and a thin, soft crust was present on steep slopes at 0930 this morning.  By 1300, steep southerly slopes were moist again, but low-angle terrain still harbored unburied surface hoar despite the strong solar radiation.