Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 03/19/2020
Name: Ben Pritchett
Subject: Red Lady Ob
Avalanches: On slopes steeper than about 35 degrees it was easy to trigger Storm Slab avalanches underfoot and remotely down-slope and on adjacent features 200-300 feet away. Slabs were slow and pushy, generally between 1-2 feet deep, but gather a pretty good head of steam given the dense new snow. Given the terrain we were testing, most avalanche remained on the large side of D1, but where small slides ran into steeper connected terrain below, the slides easily grew to D2’s. Where the old snow surface was crusted, triggering was easy, failing on small facets above the crust. These facets were difficult to isolate on a card and identify given the sticky snow, but no question the sunny slopes had facets failing below the storm snow. On shadier slopes, the storm snow was stubborn to trigger. It was difficult to trigger slabs on steep northeasterly-facing slopes with soft old-snow surfaces, but once avalanches initiated on crusted slopes impacted the shady slopes, they would break too.
Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: 20-30 mph
Ridgeline Wind Direction: W
Wind Loading: Moderate
Temperature: 25 F
Sky Cover: Obscured
Depth of New Snow: 28 cm
Depth of Total Snow: 140 cm
Most Significant Precip Rate: S5 – 5 cm/hr
Weather Description: Very snowy day. Started around 3am, didn’t let up until around 6pm. Picked up over a foot of snow, with over an inch of water near Crested Butte. Snowfall reports from riders coming back from around Kebler Pass reported over 20″ new snow. Winds picked up after sunrise, and stayed strong through mid-day.
Snowpack: Snowpack Description: Thick, dense new snow fell on faceted crusts on E-S-W facing terrain. This may be a new Persistent Slab problem.