Title: Poverty Gulch 1-5-15
Location: Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 01/05/2015
Aspect: North, East
Avalanches: Triggered multiple wind slabs (all D1) while riding and one snowmobiling. The first was triggered on a small cross-loaded convexity on the bench. It was only 2-3 inches deep, seemed to be windblown snow from today. The slab didn’t have enough weight to run more than a few feet downhill, but for how small it was it propagated around 10ft. Our party triggered another, seemingly identical slide on a similar slope lower down. The third was triggered below a leeward ridge and was a little bigger (3-5 inches and 15 ft) but also didn’t run on the relatively shallow slope (25-30 degrees). The final slide was triggered on a small E-aspect on the valley floor that received tremendous wind loading. The slide was triggered from a convexity/windlip and was between 5-15 inches deep across the crown. The slide ran on a Q1 surface, beautifully planar but I couldn’t identify the weak layer between that and the stiff wind slab that was the bed surface. Sun crust or surface hoar? All R1-D1- AS-SS except the snowmobile trigger.
Weather: Windy! Clouds were in and out throughout the day but never had full sky coverage. Strong winds from the West and Northwest that were heavily loading slopes frequently throughout the day. Pretty warm besides the wind.
Snowpack: Less supportive in lower elevations and less wind affected areas. More snow up high. Dug on a small test slope on the bench below the N-face of Schuylkill false summit, seemed to receive a good bit of wind loading. Was more than 5 ft and didn,t touch the ground. Around 1-2 ft of softer snow (f and 4f) on top of a stiffer slab (1f). I imagine that this is the slab from the Dec. 22nd storm. Underneath the Dec. 22 slab was softer faceted snow, but seemed somewhat cohesive as well.