Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 12/14/2019
Subject: Sensitive Snodgrass
Aspect: East, South East
Avalanches: Poor visibility prevented views of surrounding landscapes.
Weather: Variable weather. Overcast skies with periods of S-1, S1, and S2 snowfall, but mostly S-1. This snowfall really didn’t result in snow accumulation. Did notice graupel grains on the snow surface. Primary weather factor for snow accumulation were the winds, which were moderate at times with moderate snow transport, especially in unprotected areas. Temperatures were closer to freezing in the trees and in sheltered areas.
Snowpack: Shallow snowpack in the spruce with air pockets around branches and down trees. Collapsing and cracking on new skin track in the spruce, but isolated to the skin track.
Four hasty hand pits from the aspen through the spruce all had failures on a layer 6 inches below the snow surface. In wind affected areas, hand CT resulted in CT1 Q1. Other tests were CT2 and CTV Q2 but all on the layer about 6 inches below the snow surface. Failure layer is buried surface hoar?