Mt Emmons

CB Avalanche Center 2018-19 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 04/01/2019
Name: Eric Murrow and Zach Kinler

Subject: Mt Emmons
Aspect: South East, South, South West
Elevation: 9,000-12,343


Only a couple very small skier triggered loose dry in steep and extreme terrain.

*Received at a report of a skier triggered wind slab on a south aspect at 12,500′, 8 to 10 inches deep* – this came in the evening via test message, not from Mt. Emmons

Weather: Morning fog and low clouds burned off by mid morning with partly cloudy skies and strong solar following. WNW winds were moderate at times with stronger gusts at ridge top. Temperatures remained in the lower to mid 20s.

Snowpack: Trace to 2″ new snow on supportive MFcr that was 5 to 8cm thick on SE-S aspects above treeline. Winds were moving small amounts of snow onto leeward slopes in the alpine.  Drifting up to 10″ deep was found on SE slopes above treeline immediately below ridge tops and cornices.  Very minor cracking in drifts.  Snow surfaces remained cold on southerlies near and above treeline where temps remained below freezing and cold winds prevented warming. On a quick check of a Cornice triggered slab avalanche in Red Lady Bowl, we found the avalanche failed in a layer ~60 cm from the surface and stepped down another 60 cm or so. Perculation columns were found in the area of the first failure layer.  It is unknown if those were recent and contributed to this avalanche or if they occurred during the warming last week and the avalanche was solely a product of the weight of the cornice overloading dry weak layers.  This slope also had avalanched catastrophically during the early March storm cycle.