Small avalanche problems in the far eastern portion of Southeast Mountains

CBAC CBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 01/26/2022
Name: Eric Murrow

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: Snowmobiled out Cement Creek to Italian Mountain. Ascended westerly facing terrain to the summit. Descended east – northeast terrain into Italian Creek and reclimbed to the summit and descended westerly-facing gullies.

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: Skier triggered a tiny Windslab immediately below ridgetop above treeline and released a few small loose avalanches on steep easterly-facing terrain. There was very little soft snow above the treeline on north through east slopes which greatly limited the amount of snow for entrainment.
Weather: Clear skies and cool temperatures. Winds increased out of the northwest in the late morning and blew around the little bit of recent snow. Very little loading was observed. Winds eased significantly in the afternoon around 2pm.
Snowpack: Traveled on westerly slopes at all elevations and found soft, lightly faceted surfaces below treeline and mostly windboard with isolated pockets of soft snow near and above treeline. Northeast and east slopes above treeline have been beaten up by the wind in most places leaving a mix of supportive and breaker windboard with pockets of soft snow. Softer conditions became more common near treeline. Probing north through east terrain from 12,000′ – 13,000′ revealed snow depths averaging around 230cm. Thin, small, and stiff Windslabs were found on west, northeast, east, and southeast alpine features; all were small and only posed a hazard if you were knocked down over exposed terrain.

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