Mt. Crested Butte

CB Avalanche Center 2016-17 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/18/2017
Name: Zach Guy
Subject: Mt. Crested Butte
Aspect: South, South West, West, North West
Elevation: 9,000-10,400 ft

Avalanches: Skied on a few steep southerly aspects mid-afternoon trying to produce signs of instability but got none.
Weather: Hotter than a 2-peckered goat.
Snowpack: Shallow and melting snowpack, generally less than 60 cm below treeline, saw a decent refreeze overnight. Prime corn window on SW’erly aspects was noon, and slopes became unsupportive by 2 p.m. Several hand pits to the ground on S and SW aspects BTL suggest that wet slab concerns are over; the snowpack is homogeneous large weak very wet grains, with drainage well established. It felt like you might be able to trigger a small wet loose in very steep terrain still.
One pit on a NW aspect BTL had moist snow throughout except very wet grains in the top 10 cm, fairly homogeneous snowpack but slightly softer and wetter near the ground.  There were percolation columns piping freewater straight to the ground. There did not appear to be any concerning interfaces/layers for water to pool on in this location, but if there were, free water would have been hitting them.

WNW aspect BTL.  Note the percolation column extending from very wet surface snow strait to the ground.  No problematic interfaces observed throughout the moist snowpack.