Upper Slate River

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 01/13/2021
Name: Zach Kinler Evan Ross
Zone: Northwest Mountains
Aspect: East, South East
Elevation: 9,600′-11,600′

Avalanches: No recent natural activity. Intentionally ski triggered 2 harmless D1 loose dry avalanches on a steep pitch near valley bottom where the snowpack was thin and mostly faceted.
Weather: Warm start to the day with temps near freezing, strong solar gain and calm wind. By early afternoon, high clouds drifted in and wind increased. Light to moderate NW winds blew on ridge top as well as open east aspects below tree line.
Snowpack: Many of the lower elevation slopes near valley bottom facing E and SE aspects are shallow and unsupportive to skis. There is much variability in depth and structure here with mostly weak over weak. Moving from lower elevations to 11K, the snowpack depths double with more of a supportive midpack over weak, faceted snow near the ground. This terrain is right in the heart of our stubborn Persistent Slab problem. We experienced no signs of instability or recent avalanches however we managed this problem by focusing on consequences, skiing short to medium-sized slopes up to but not greater than 35 degrees that were planer, had clean run outs and lacked obvious trigger points such as trees, rocks, and convexities.