Slate River Valley

Location: Crested Butte Area, Paradise Divide Area
Date of Observation: 02/04/2016
Name: Zach Guy
Subject: Slate River Valley
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South West
Elevation: Below Treeline

Avalanches: Natural avalanche activity from 2/1 cycle dramatically decreased as we went up valley. Happy Chutes and Climax Chutes (E/NE N/BTL) almost all ran nearly full width, full track, some small trees snapped and debris close to Mike’s Mile. I visited these start zones before the storm and there was about 10″ of settled snow above a very weak Jan14th 1.5mm facet layer. Likely ran on that. SS-N-R3/4-D2/2.5-O. A few crowns visible on Schuykill Ridge (E/ NE BTL), D2s, and two large crowns in Redwell Basin (NE, N ATL). Several D2 Debris piles near Slate River Road from the south side of Anthracite Mesa, couldn’t see start zones (~SW aspects, BTL). One D1.5 crown on a SE aspect BTL near Pittsburg. Signs of early storm sluffing/storm slab action on Schuykill Ridge, and no crowns visible in Ruby Range from our valley vantage points.
Weather: High clouds increased and lowered through the day. Very light snowfall (S-1) by late PM. Cold temps. Light northwest valley winds.
Snowpack: Dug one pit in Upper Slate Area, NE aspect below treeline.  Recent storm has settled into a 65cm slab, increasing from F hardness at surface to 4F at Jan 29 interface.  There is a <1cm thick layer of fist hard 0.5 mm near surface facets with 2-3mm flattened surface hoar needles below the slab.  This layer was not reactive in ECT.  No signs of instability on our tour except a shallow pocket that was skier triggered on a rollover from recent wind drifting.

Happy Chutes, NE BTL

Happy Chutes, NE BTL

Climax Chutes, E/NE aspects

Climax Chutes, E/NE aspects

Some small snapped trees in debris piles below Climax Chutes. Almost reached Mike's Mile.

Some small snapped trees in debris piles below Climax Chutes. Almost reached Mike’s Mile.

IMG_5736-001

Redwell Basin. NE aspect shown. Can barely see the edge of another crown on the north facing part of the bowl

Debris piles below Anthracite Mesa above Slate River Road

Debris piles below Anthracite Mesa above Slate River Road

SE aspect near Pittsburg

SE aspect near Pittsburg