NE CB Zone Obs

CB Avalanche Center 2018-19 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 12/16/2018
Name: Joey Carpenter

Subject: NE CB Zone Obs
Aspect: North East, South, South West, West
Elevation: 9200-12200

Avalanches:

1 small windslab that ran earlier in the week S of whiterock. SS-N-R2-D1
E face of Baldy. SS-N-R1-D1. Earlier in the week and observed from very far away.
Multiple point releases from steep SE facing terrain, also earlier in the week. A few did pick up enough snow to knock you of your feet.

Weather: Clear, calm and warm.
Snowpack: NE BTL. Too many collapses to count. All relatively small as the slab below 9.5k on NE facing terrain is eroding. Isolated terrain features did produce 20-50 foot cracks under a skiers weight. Overall in this area, at this elevation band, there is minimal slab structure and a weak, unconsolidated snowpack. However, it does seem seem possible to produce avalanches in isolated terrain features BTL where the slab is more resilient.

S, SW, W BTL spx is thin <50cm and weak. Steeper isolated features that received windloading last week did produces small whumpfs and cracks. Barely enough coverage to move through terrain below 10k. NTL collapses on isolated terrain features became more pronounced. The overall snowpack in this area averaged 60cm except on slopes steeper than 30 degrees that are predominantly S facing. The spx on these solar aspects steeper than 30 degrees was surprisingly thin and weak. Overall in the NTL elevation band the slab structure is intact but weakening. N/ATL (~12.2k) spx averaged around 75cm excluding scoured terrain. Collapsing near the ridgeline was substantial and propagating well away from our skintrack. Stability tests produced: CT12SCQ1, ECTPV14Q1 x2 on 2-3mm facets that made up the bottom 15cm of the spx. The slab resting on the facets was 1F in hardness and still very much intact. Failures were quick and clean. Newer snow near surface F hardness.

Photos: