Shady side to the Sunny side

CB Avalanche Center CBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 02/24/2022
Name: Zach Kinler Eric Murrow

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Short tour up Elk Creek via ridge, then up to the Anthracites, standard skin track to ridge.

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: Phew…Most avalanches paths facing northeast and east in Elk Creek avalanched.  Some ran during the middle of the storm and others very recently with just an inch or two on the bed surface, mostly D1.5 with several D2s.  East-facing natural in the 7 sisters area above Kebler Pass road, D1.5.  We also remotely triggered a few small pockets that mother nature left hanging for us, D1s.  At the Anthracites there was a D2 midslope in East Bowl (failed mid storm), a natural D1.5 on a southeast slope that ran Thursday morning (no snow on bed surface, and failed above the crust), and we remotely triggered a D2 at the very top of East Bowl with a little bit of hunting for the trigger point at ridgetop.  Many other slopes near the Anthracite skin track appeared to have avalanched early in the storm and refilled, hard to say for certain but there was slight texture below many steep slopes.
Weather: Blustery, temps in the teens, WNW winds were light with moderate gusting near tree line and on exposed ridges. Peeks of sun here and there but low clouds shrouded alpine areas.
Snowpack:  On shady slopes, in Elk Creek, the storm snow was around 18 inches deep and produced numerous collapses.  Signs of instability were obvious, but most of the steep terrain already avalanched.  At the Anthracites storm snow was 24 to 30 inches deep with the bottom portion of the slab at 4 finger hardness.  Signs of instability were harder to come by here as the slab was thicker, but I would NOT call it stubborn to human triggers…more like the sirens calling you into the rocks on the Aegean Sea.  We poked around on south and southeast features in the area and did not find signs of instability with hasty hand pits that seemed to point at reasonable bonding between crust and storm snow.  Crusts were 4 to 5 inches thick below 2 feet of storm snow.  We did not inspect any drifted sunny features.