Purple Palace

CB Avalanche Center2014-15 Observations

LOCATION: Paradise Divide Area
NAME: Zach Guy
SUBJECT: Purple Palace
ASPECT: North, North East, East, South East

AVALANCHES: None, except minor sluffing.

WEATHER: Steady S1 through the day, increased to S2 around 4:00. Calm winds. Overcast. Mild Temps

SNOWPACK: By 4pm, 8″ of storm snow at ridgeline and 4″ of snow at valley bottom; no wind affect. About 2-3″ of new through the day. New snow was too shallow and incohesive for slab formation; no storm slab concerns (yet). Falling on near surface facets on North/Northeast aspects. On these slopes, the snowpack felt almost entirely faceted in many places, except as we got higher near treeline, where some lingering stronger midpack prevailed. 5 pits, never saw surface hoar, but fist hard facets in every pit in the upper snowpack. The only pit with propagating results was a windloaded feature where a shallow, persistent slab from recent wind events was over near surface facets. On East and Southeast aspects, the new snow is on meltfreeze crusts. Warm snow seemed to be bonding decently, but there were a few slopes with thin crust /facet/crust sandwich (Feb 20th and Feb 16th crusts), and these produced small, localized cracking. Bottom line – plenty of weak layers out there under this storm snow, just need more snow/wind loading.