Near and Below tree line surface conditions

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/16/2020
Name: Zach Kinler
Subject: Near and Below tree line surface conditions
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West, North West
Elevation: 9000-11,000′
A few very small Wet Loose releases from steep southerly slopes which remained in the surface snow.

Weather: Increasing high-level clouds for this afternoon tour. Temps were above freezing at 11K. Calm winds even near ridgeline.

Snowpack: North aspects above 10K are dry while below 10K there are surface crusts and a crust from the previous warming cycle just over a week ago. These get thicker as you descend below 9K where they will soon be welded together. There were no wet loose concerns on this aspect. NW and NE aspects above 10.5K were dry while below, crusts were similar to N aspects getting thicker as you descended or moved towards S. Minimal Wet Loose concerns were seen here.

Moving towards the sunny side of the compass, the upper few inches of recent snow have been wetted down to the previous crusts which are still supportive. With strong overnight freezes and gradual warming trends, these aspects have transitioned very well. Most concerning areas are the steep, shallow areas near rocks, cliffs and dark timber. Cornices have grown large on certain easterly slopes and are starting to see warming…


A few small wet releases on a SE aspect with some overhanging cornices catching some sun.