Slate River, Paradise Divide

CB Avalanche Center2014-15 Observations

LOCATION: Kebler Pass Area
NAME: Evan Ross
SUBJECT: Slate River, Paradise Divide
ELEVATION: Near Treeline


WEATHER: Few clouds, warm temps, no wind.

SNOWPACK: The Slate River valley looks like a war zone and is an absolutely amazing sight seeing tour for an avalanche geek. Just about every piece of avalanche terrain faceting east or north avalanched during the last cycle. All the way from the Happy Chutes to Pittsburgh. There where many paths that ran, that I’ve never seen run before in the last 5 years. There were small pocket slides, too wide crowns extending for a couple thousand feet, too paths running full track into the valley.

Traveled near treeline and nearly found no signs to instability. One fact that could skew these findings is that fact that we had a hard time finding slopes that didn’t avalanche at some point during the recent cycle. I dug two crown profiles along the way with vary different findings and snowapck structure due to their HS.

1st crown profile at an elevation of 10,900ft on a NE facing slope, HS 263cm. Crown was 90cm tall, failing on squashed 1mm FCxr and 1f- hard. CT and DT tests produced no results on this interface.

2nd Crown profile was at ridgeline, elevation 11,600ft, NE facing slope, HS 138. Crown was 85cm tall, failing on 2mm FC and 4f- hard. ECTP-SC 31 with the whole black popping into the pit on a 31 degree slope.

Take home point: The snowpack felt good and stable where the old snowpack was deep before last weeks large storm. The snowpack was concerning and down right scary where the old snowpack was shallow before last weeks storm.


Handcock Peak. Crowns visible on NE and E aspects


Garfield Peak. Wide crowns through the whole ATL north facing basin and in NTL open paths below.


Large Crowns on MT Owen’s NE face


Schuylkill area is litterd with crowns on ENE facing slopes NTL/BTL