Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 02/17/2019
Name: Evan Ross
Subject: Recent Storm Snow Is Setting Up
Aspect: North East
A large natural avalanche was observed on a cross-loaded ENE facing slope off of Schuylkill Ridge. This avalanche looked to have ran during the 2/16 storm and appeared to release in the upper snowpack. It further stepped down to deeper week layers in a few places.
Another fresh very large avalanche was viewed on billy bar’s Camara near Schofield Pass. This avalanche failed on a cross-loaded SE facing slope above treeline, and propagated widely across a more south facing bowl.
Weather: Mostly cloudy sky, a few flakes fell, and the winds were calm. Lovely day out there.
Snowpack: Recent storm snow is setting up, with a little fluff on top. Boot pen was around 35-40cm. The crust that formed on 12/15 was down about 10cm’s in the valley, and generally dissipated on the shaded more northerly side of the valley. Didn’t get too closely look at the Valentine interface. No obvious sings to instability where observed. Skiers in the area were skiing wind-loaded terrain that was supported and mostly below 35 degrees in steepness.
The most concerning snowpack encountered was on a more northerly facing slope that had a much shallower snowpack then average due to previous down valley winds this season. Recent storm snows had built a soft 40cm slab over a weak faceted snowpack.