Small sluffs and slabs at upper elevations from the past 48hr’s

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains
Location: Upper Crystal Watershed
Date of Observation: 11/25/2020
Name: Evan Ross

Subject: Small sluffs and slabs at upper elevations from the past 48hr’s
Aspect: North, East
Elevation: 11,000-12,000

Avalanches: Maybe 20’ish small avalanches at upper elevations, mostly releasing from wind-loading, but a couple coming out of rock bands. A few from today, others were slightly older. Mostly sluffs, or maybe small cornice chucks coming down. Few small crowns. There could have been more crowns that were either too small to see, or had blown back over. These avalanches were observed on west,  north and east aspects, with easterly having the most activity.

Weather: Clear, mild temps. Moderate ridgetop winds with light transport. Mostly calm conditions at lower elevations.

Snowpack: North 11-12,000ft: Skied a couple different laps and a couple different skin tracks. HS was generally in the 60 to 80cm range. We traveled on new snow over old wind-board, to a general 70cm snowpack over a thin layer of dry facets, and through many transitions from the supportive slab into shallow a less supportive snowpack. All and all the snowpack was mostly quiet outside of a couple of small collapses. Those collapses didn’t seem to collapse big parts of the slope. The layer of facets at the ground is fairly thin and maybe there was too much ground roughness.

Easterly 11-12,000ft: Great riding conditions on east with the new snow over a supportive snowpack. Tilt a little SE and the snow-surface was becoming moist. We climbed into the start-zone of an easterly bowl right below a ridge. Sections of the bowl were stripped of the new snow by NW winds. Other sections had more of a cross-loading pattern. We moved through a few thick cross-loaded drifts on 35-degree slopes. Those drifts were thick and not giving us any feedback to instability.

All and all, we found good stability and some lovely turns.

Also noticed several ski tracks of folks skiing some large bowls on the northerly side of Baldy, and on both easterly and northeasterly bowls off Purple Ridge. Looked like some folks got some good turns.