Mount Baldy Recon

CB Avalanche Center2017-18 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 02/16/2018

Subject: Mount Baldy Recon
Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West
Elevation: 9300-12,200


Significant avalanches on Scarp Ridge/Peeler Basin (North facing, ATL), Augusta ridgeline (ENE facing, ATL) and Purple Mountain (NNE facing, ATL). These slides all looked to have occurred early this morning, and not too much new snow was softening crisp crown lines or debris. Possibly from early morning wind loading. All three of these slides failed 3-12+’ deep, and ran long distances, the Purple Mtn slide running over the mid mountain bench and into the upper Slate valley below Yule Pass. Likely all failed on either the 1/21 persistent weak layer, or the October/November depth hoar near the ground.
Scarp: HS-N-R4D3-O/G November DH. North facing.
Augusta: SS-N-R4D3-O 1/21 (unconfirmed) ENE facing
(2) Purple:
HS-N-R3D3-O 1/21 (unconfirmed) potentially trigged by shallow windslab, then stepping down.
HS-N-R3D3-O 1/21 (unconfirmed)

Weather: Mostly clear skies gave way to overcast skies by mid morning. Still shadows and plenty of radiation reaching snow surfaces. West winds ramped throughout morning, especially above treeline, probably gusting into the 40s on Baldy. Temperatures were quite cold this morning, never got balmy, likely highs in the low to mid 20s. Local sonwfall from yesterday’s storm was about 40cm.
Snowpack: no signs of instability, except for massive crowns scattered across North through East facing terrain above treeline. Rapid settlement of storm snow, got moist from greenhousing between sun and high cloud deck. Active, and efficient wind loading ATL was refilling skin track in less than 5min. Lots of snow available for transport and loading NE-E-SE facing terrain. Cornices were touchy and breaking farther back than past days this winter.