Tiptoeing in Baxter

CB Avalanche Center 2020-21 Observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains

Location: Baxter

Date of Observation: 12/05/2020

Name: Joey Carpenter

 

Subject: Tiptoeing in Baxter

Aspect: North, North East, East, South East

Elevation: 9250-11.7

Avalanches:

A couple natural loose dry, very small initiating below cliff bands.

Weather: Bright and sunny, no wind and a beautiful day overall. Temps started around 10 degrees near Pittsburg and rose to above freezing. It was warm enough that even with the low sun angle, we were getting glop on the skins in the mid elevations around noon.

Snowpack: The snowpack is an inconsistent mess of facets with decaying midpack support (where you can find it). You’d be hard pressed to convince some people that it’s even ski season. We did find some fun, supportive turns but treading cautiously is essential. N, NE aspects in the mid elevation bands are completely faceted out. The mid-upper elevations offer better but again, inconsistent midpack support. Thin coverage on the more solar aspects makes skiing through lower elevation bands nerve wracking at best. “Every turn is a mystery, every knoll a surprise.” That about sums it up. Mid & upper elevation S, SW and W aspects visible from this zone are nearly devoid of snow now (Cinnamon, Mineral, Baldy, Purple Ridge) . Whatever is left will be gone if forecasts verify in the coming days.

The current state of the surface snow has very little ability to support a substantial load (if we ever get one).