Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 11/28/2019
Name: Joey Carpenter
Subject: Talkative Snowpack out West
Aspect: North, North East
None observed. 5 notable collapses and shooting cracks.
Weather: Skies starting OVC and moving to BKN from 930-1300. No precipitation, intermittent light wind from S/SW with no visible transport. Comfortable temps.
Snowpack: HS 75cm of generally unconsolidated, weak snow @11.3k NNE aspect. Bottom 35cm is 1-2mm facets with this weeks storm snow resting on top. We got 3 small/med collapses in this area that were enough to direct us to an alternative route. While slab size/energy was not largely concerning, the potential of being dragged even a short distance through early season ground hazards by a small avalanche was. We dug down after the third collapse at the entrance to a popular run in the area to inspect where failure was occurring (see photo). The new/old snow interface was the culprit.
On our ski, we got two more small collapses in relatively low angle terrain with shooting cracks up to 20 feet (see photo).
BTL SPX is very shallow and weak, even in this snow favored part of the forecast area…snow snakes, downed logs, eye pokers, skin rippers, ski blasters, knee twisters, heel smashers and hat grabbers abound.