Nerve-racking snowpack on Coney’s

CB Avalanche Center 2015-16 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 12/23/2015
Name: Zach Guy
Subject: Nerve-racking snowpack on Coney’s
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: 9,500-10,900 ft

Avalanches: Observed roughly a dozen natural avalanches in the Coney’s vicinity, all breaking about 3 feet deep on basal facets, D1.5 to D2 in size on slopes steeper than 35 degrees, NE and E facing aspects N/BTL. Debris running into dense trees where the typical uptrack is. Part of Coney’s bowl flushed, quite a bit remains in the balance.
Weather: Scattered clouds this morning built to overcast this afternoon with light snowfall. 1″ of accumulation by 4:00 p.m. Light winds and cold temps.
Snowpack: Constant and huge collapses, rattling trees and shooting up slope long distances (~100 ft or more), even in dense trees. Shooting cracks spanning entire slopes. SCARY snowpack. About 3 feet of slab (4F up to F) over the problematic facet layer (F). Slabs became denser and thicker near ridgeline due to previous wind affect. Roughly 20″ of recent storm snow; upside-down in open slopes due to last night’s winds, with up to 8″ of denser, wind affected snow over lower density storm snow. It felt like there was zero margin for error in terrain selection today.