Shooting Cracks and Small Avalanches BTL

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 11/26/2019
Name: Evan Ross and Zach Kinler

Subject: Shooting Cracks and Small Avalanches BTL
Aspect: North, North East, South
Elevation: 10,000-11,500ft

Avalanches: The most significant result was a small skier triggered avalanche reported in this observation.

Weather: Blustery and cold with light snowfall throughout the day. At all elevations traveled the winds were west to northwest and light to moderate in strength. New overnight snow accumulations were in the 7 to 8″ range and only another inch accumulated during the day by 2pm.

Snowpack: The layer of concern remains the 11/20 interface of faceted grains on northerly facing or shared slopes. SH was also buried at the 11/25 interface and only identified on the northerly slopes we traveled, and not the little bit of south we spent time on.

Shooting cracks were common while traveling on this northerly facing terrain. These cracks failed down to the 11/20 interface which consisted of, fist hard, 2-3mm faceted and striated grains. The slab above was now around 40cm thick and 4F- to F hard.

Snowpack height averaged around 70cm. While the snowpack is getting deeper, it is still thin with lots of ground debris. The potential avalanche size remained small on these below treeline slopes, but it was still a hazard to manage as there is plenty of snow to push into the ground clutter and injure a person. Therefore you were managing avalanche terrain for this avalanche problem.