Slate River

CBACCBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 03/14/2023
Name: Zach Guy

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Route Description: Took a lap on Schuylkill Ridge and Purple Palace, traveling mostly on east and northeast aspects N/BTL.

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: A handful of small wet loose and two small storm slabs that either ran today or yesterday during the warm sunny weather. The storm slabs were about a foot thick on Peeler Peek, on east and northeast aspects, triggered by sluffs.
Like elsewhere, the Slate saw a significant storm slab cycle during the last storm, with lots of evidence of moving snow, partially filled in crowns and debris. The most notable slides were two off of the Great Wide Open that reached valley floor, one off of the west side of Baldy that crossed the slate, and all of the W/SW gullies off of Gothic produced large slides.
Weather: Partly cloudy skies, mild temps, light winds.
Snowpack: No signs of instability underfoot apart from some minor rollerballs. Stability tests on E and NE aspects produced non-propagating results on the storm interface down about 60 cm. On a SE aspect near treeline, we got repeatable propagating results (ECTP19, ECTP21) on a faceted crust down 80 cm, which was the 2nd crust from the top of the snowpack.
Snow surfaces got wet on all but the northern quadrant. Surface crusts transition from very soft and thin on northeast, to much thicker due south. I found dry, recrystallized grains developing above the crust on NE, E, and SE aspects. These were cooked off on due south. On north aspects, the snow surface was a mix of decomposing/fragmented grains and graupel. There was some surface hoar growth below 10,000′ feet this morning, but that appeared to be cooked or evolving into the near-surface facets above the crust.