Naturals on Mt. Emmons

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/18/2016
Name: Zach Guy
Subject: Naturals on Mt. Emmons
Aspect: North, East, South East, South
Elevation: 9,500-12,300 ft

Avalanches: Numerous natural slab avalanches on windloaded terrain, E to SE to S that failed during the tail end of the storm.  Observed 7 natural soft slabs on SE and E aspects NTL/ATL in Evans Basin and Red Lady Bowl, ~D1 to D1.5 in size, failing near or above the storm interface. SS-N-R1-D1.5-U. One larger natural on a S aspect of Schuylkill Ridge that ran 1,500 vertical feet to the valley, SS-N-R2-D2-U. We skier triggered 2 small windslabs from a SE facing ridgeline above treeline that failed 5-10″ deep on a mid-storm layer. SS-ASc-R1-D1-S.
Weather: Few clouds. Mild temps. Winds increased during the day from the W to NW. Moderate snow transport in the afternoon at ridgelines.
Snowpack:  See video. 10″ of fist hard storm snow settled quickly today under sunny skies and mild temps.  It became moist on steep, southerly aspects below treeline, with pushy wet loose running under foot.  In wind/sun sheltered terrain, the new snow is over 1-2 mm fist hard facets, unreactive in stability tests.  On a more wind-affected north facing slope near treeline, the 12″ of new snow was over 4F mixed forms, <1mm.  Most windloading appears to be on S, SE, and E aspects N/ATL.  No signs of instability on steep north facing terrain.

1/18 Naturals off of SE aspect of Evans Basin

1/18 Naturals off of SE aspect of Evans Basin

IMG_5546

1/18 Pushy wet loose below treeline, south aspect

1/18 Large Natural off S aspect of Schuylkill Ridge

1/18 Large Natural off S aspect of Schuylkill Ridge

1/18 Skier triggered windlab into Red Lady Bowl. SE aspect

1/18 Skier triggered windlab into Red Lady Bowl. SE aspect

1/18 Skier triggered windlab into Red Lady Bowl. SE aspect

1/18 Skier triggered windlab into Red Lady Bowl. SE aspect

1/18. Natural on east aspect

1/18. Natural on east aspect

1/18 Faint windslab visible on Red Lady

1/18 Faint windslab visible on Red Lady