Snodgrass Avalanche

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/22/2020
Subject: Snodgrass Avalanche
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: 10,400

Avalanches: R1, D1. Skier triggered a small slide on an ENE rollover on Snodgrass Mountain in the First Bowl area and was not caught in the slide. Slope angle around 35–38°. Crown varied from about 12″ deep to a couple inches. Crown was 50–70 feet wide, propagating skier’s left on the east-facing side of the gulley. Did not propagate skier’s right where other skiers had previously put down tracks, likely the day before. Avalanche ran about 100-150 feet until it stopped just before where the terrain became flat. Not enough snow to bury, but could have carried someone into the trees shown in the avalanche path, or potentially into the trees at the flat area at the bottom of the path. The storm snow slid on the older, firmer base layer and did not step down below the storm layer.

Weather: high-20’s to just below freezing around time of slide. Overcast all day with a few very brief breaks in the clouds but no full-on sun. Some scattered, very light snow with less than an inch of accumulation from 10 am to 3 pm.

Snowpack: North-facing trees on Snodgrass from 11,100′ to about 10,500′ had 1-2 feet of light, low-density fresh snow on top of a firm, supportive base. Storm snow in north-facing, higher-elevation trees showed no signs of cracking, whoomphing, or propagation. More open / less treed ENE slope that was triggered had about a foot of snow that was more sun-affected and dense than in the higher-elevation, North-facing trees. No signs of instability until skier triggered the slide.