Poor Beaten Snowpack

CB Avalanche Center 2017-18 Observations

Location: Paradise Divide Area. Mt Baldy
Date of Observation: 01/05/2018
Name: Evan Ross

Subject: Poor Beaten Snowpack
Aspect: North, North East, East
Elevation: 11,200-12,800

Avalanches:
Weather: Moderate westerly wind at upper elevation ridgelines. Partly cloudy with mostly high thin clouds.
Snowpack: The poor thing is so beat. The white looking mountains sure look nice from a distance, but up close their snow surfaces sure are variable and worked over by the weather. For this area, low danger travel advice fit perfect and we didn’t really find much of a concern as it relates to potential avalanches, from low angle to very steep slopes. South and southeast slopes have patchy snow coverage. Sunny easterly slopes had warm snow surfaces and small NSF. Shaded easterly slopes and northeasterly to north facing slopes were cold and weak. Again, snow surfaces on all aspects could also be eroded by the wind, or have wind board, or have variable crusts, or be soft form the sun, or protected form everything and soft. Couldn’t really paint a trend as its all just variable and all over the place.

Couldn’t find any Christmas slabs of much concern. A watchful eye is still warranted.

Photos:

This basin wraps from east to north facing slopes. The snowpack down low had the most intact, but still weak, Christmas Slabs. Moving through the terrain those Christmas Slabs were sitting on a variable old snow surface from shallow to rotten to wind-board. Higher in the terrain the snowpack generally thinned and became more weak.

Looking SSW on this ridge. Blown off high on the west side, while the easterly side had lots of variable snow surfaces and wasn’t necessarily “loaded”.