Sensitive Wind Slabs and pretty darn good skiing!

CBAC CBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 04/13/2022
Name: Eric Murrow

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Slate River Corridor to Pittsburg. Skied into the basin on east side of Schuylkill Peak.

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: I observed a few small loose snow avalanches, two slab avalanches in wind-drifted terrain, and skier triggered two small wind slabs near treeline that were 12 to 18 inches deep. Poor visibility limited views into the Ruby Range.
Weather: Overcast skies, cool temperatures, and the constant westerly wind. Occasional light snowfall in the afternoon but no accumulations. During periods of improved visibility, there was a constant stream of blowing snow at upper elevations focusing on the easterly aspects.
Snowpack: At 10,500 feet I measured 12 inches of storm snow with 1.1″ SWE near Schuylkill Peak. In sheltered areas, I found storm snow without slab properties but a storm density change near the bottom of storm snow. Sheltered terrain could produce loose avalanches on very steep terrain. As soon as I found drifted terrain, I was able to produce shooting cracks up to 20 feet and easily triggered two small slabs on leeward rolls in the basin. Leeward features had drifts up to 2 feet thick. The triggered avalanches failed on the density change near the base of the storm snow.

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