Very Large natural and remotely triggered slides on Axtell

CB Avalanche Center 2014-15 Observations

LOCATION: Crested Butte Area
DATE OF OBSERVATION: 03/02/2015
NAME: Zach Guy
SUBJECT: Very Large Natural and remotely triggered slides on Axtell
ASPECT: North, North East, East
ELEVATION: 10,000 to 12,000 ft

 

AVALANCHES: Most impressive avalanche cycle I’ve ever seen on Axtell. Slides in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th bowls that all ran yesterday or today. The last 4 ran wall-to-wall, up to 2,000 feet wide and most running 1,500 – 2,000 vertical to valley floor. These were N/ATL on N/NE/E aspects, with one wrapping to SE.. All crowns were 2-3 feet deep, failing on the same near surface facet layer buried mid-February and gouged to the ground in places. With the exception of a D2 in 1st Bowl (BTL), the remainder were all D2.5 to D3’s (N/ATL). Two (maybe 3?) were triggered remotely by a party in front of us from the ridge. The other three were naturals. We also remotely triggered a narrow D2 that ran to valley floor.

WEATHER: Warm. Periods of very light snow. Moderate southwest ridgetop winds with moderate snow transport. Overcast skies.

SNOWPACK: Last night’s snow was dense and top heavy. Lots of tree bombing today and southerly surfaces became moist. On north aspects near/below treeline, about 70-90 cm of 4F to F hard snow down to our fist hard, mid-February facet layer. All facets below that.

UPLOADS:

Crowns were 70 – 90 cm thick.  Generally 4F to 4F- slabs over fist hard facets.

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2nd Bowl on Axtell.  (North aspect N/BTL)

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Wang Chung Face (North aspect, near treeline)

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3rd Bowl..”The Pencil”  (Northeast aspect NTL)

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4th Bowl.  Hard to see the crown but it ran wall to wall, 2000 feet wide.   (E, NE, N aspect ATL)

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5th Bowl above Green Lake. Also ran full width.  (NW-N-NE ATL)

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Extent of crown lines observed 3/2/15.  The last crown line to lookers left is estimated.

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