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test 2021/22 obs

Date of Observation: 06/07/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Redwell Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 10,698   Avalanches: some avalanches here and there Weather: mostly weather Snowpack: snow on the ground  …

RobStrickland

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Large wet slab on Axtell

Date of Observation: 05/21/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Axtell 5th bowl Aspect: North Elevation: ATL   Avalanches: Destructive fresh wet slab, see photo Weather: Snowpack:  …

CBAC

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Large wet slab

Date of Observation: 05/07/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Redwell Basin Aspect: North East Elevation: ATL Avalanches: Large wet slab on ENE facing slope triggered by cornice fall yesterday. Weather: Snowpack:…

CBAC

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skier triggered storm slab

Date of Observation: 05/04/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Northwest Bowl Anthracites Aspect: North Elevation: 11,200 Avalanches: unintentionally triggered r1d1? wet storm slab at the obvious convexity of NW bowl at about 1:30pm, ran with energy, certainly enough to take you for a ride, not quite enough volume to bury. See photo Weather: Snowpack:…

CB Avalanche Center

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Sensitive soft slabs

Date of Observation: 04/23/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Copper Creek Aspect: West, North West Elevation: N/ATL Avalanches: We found sensitive storm slab conditions today at upper elevations. Numerous thin soft slabs released naturally this morning, and we ski cut a handful of similar slabs. All of the slabs were small in size: most were 2″ to 4″ thick, 10 to 20 feet wide. In wind drifted areas, slabs were up to 8″ thick. In sustained steeper terrain, slides ran up to 1500 vertical feet. Weather: Pulses of moderate to heavy snowfall between periods of quiet weather. Some moderate gusts with wind transport at higher elevations. Snowpack: About 3″ of new since yesterday.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Sprinter

Date of Observation: 04/17/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Aspect: North East, East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: NA Weather: Mostly cloudy and calm. On skate out, intermittent S-1 snowfall. Snowpack: 4 inches of 12 hour snow in CB South at my house at 6:30 AM. <2 inches of new snow at trailhead and <1 inch of new snow on ridge line of Anthracite Mesa. Snow in the bowl was 100% supportive spring snow. Bare areas are appearing around trees with expansive branch system that extends outward from the trunk.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7am weather Update

Date of Observation: 04/17/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Weather: Cloudy with light snow overnight with 2″ new and water a light 0.12″ on top of a frozen snowpack. Wind is calm and the snowpack back up to 27″. Currently only a few flakes of snow and clouds look to be thinning with a low of 18ºF after a high yesterday of 38.…

CBAC

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Cement Creek Snow 7am update

Date of Observation: 04/17/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Ranch Elevation: 9250’ Weather: 4” of new snow overnight…

CB Avalanche Center

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One inch on top of one inch is better than no inch on an inch.

Date of Observation: 04/16/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Axtell Aspect: North Elevation: 9,500-11,800ft Weather: Party Cloudy, calm winds, and a few falling flakes. Snowpack: Another inch of new snow. Steep due north was still skiing well. A little funk here or there with old crusts. Small skier triggered sluffs in steep terrain. Sticky snow surfaces down low. The previous winds from yesterday and last night made the more alpine features look uninspiring with wind-board or firmer looking snow surfaces. We chose to ski where the snow surface was protected from those winds.…

CBAC

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Wet Loosies and even a gouger’

Date of Observation: 04/14/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Wolverin Basin, Mount Emmons Aspect: North, North East, East, North West Elevation: 8,900′ – 11,400′   Avalanches: Observed two unreported Wet Slabs on a northwesterly aspect below treeline from the big warm up during the first week of April. Intentionally triggered a couple of Wet Loose avalanches on northeast slopes below treeline D1 to D2 in size. The D2 was able to gouge to the ground, low elevation slope at 9,800′. Weather: About an inch of new overnight. Partly cloudy skies, mild air temps, and light winds with moderate gusts on alpine ridges. Snowpack: Largely traveled on northerly slopes near and below treeline. Shaded slopes at 10,000′ appeared to have meltwater…

CBAC

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Big Inch

Date of Observation: 04/14/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Axtell Aspect: North Elevation: 9,500-11,900 Avalanches: Easy to manage dry loose avalanches on steep north-facing slopes above 10,500ft. Weather: Few clouds in the morning and increasing in the afternoon. Light winds where we traveled, could see a few small plumes near the Elk Crest mid day. Snowpack: The steeper north-facing terrain we skied above 10,500ft had a mostly dry old snow surface with about 1.5″ of new snow on top. The new snow was producing small sluffs that were easy to manage. Below 10,500ft on the lower angled slopes, the snow surface became very sticky and wet. The flatter terrain remained supportable to skis around noon. We didn’t get a good sample of…

CBAC

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 04/14/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Weather: Scattered light snow Tuesday and overnight into Wed. with just 1½” new snow and 0.15″ of water. Snowpack sits at 28″, up 1″ from the year’s low. The snowpack did not harden much overnight so could get quite rotten if we get decent sun as there was a bit of clearing starting just before sunrise. Breezy overnight and currently around 3-6 mph SW. Not much to write about but it is the heaviest snow ‘storm’ this month so far.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Off season for avalanches

Date of Observation: 04/11/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mt. Emmons Aspect: North East, East Elevation: Below treeline Avalanches: Skier triggered a couple of shallow wet loose slides in very steep terrain. They didn’t run far or entrain more than the top few inches of mush. Weather: Another beautiful day. Light winds below treeline. Temps in the 40’s. Clear skies. Snowpack: Early afternoon tour on suspect below treeline slopes to assess the effects of last night’s warming trend. Ski cut wet sluffs were confined to very steep terrain and are still not entraining volume or gouging deeper than the top few inches. The snowpack is wet throughout with drainage to the ground now well established where we traveled. The snow was…

CBAC

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Tipsy cornices!

Date of Observation: 04/11/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Wolverine Ridge Aspect: East Elevation: ATL Avalanches: Skier triggered very small wet looses on E aspects, and very small dry looses on due north. Both confined to very steep terrain. Snowpack: Cornice about 100 yards long pulling way back from the Wolverine Ridge. See photos, pretty cool if you’re on the right side of it.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Corn

Date of Observation: 04/10/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Upper Slate Aspect: East, South East Elevation: 9600 to 12500’ Avalanches: Nothing new. Weather: Clear skies, mild temps, light ridgetop winds. Snowpack: Nothing noteworthy. Good freeze overnight, surfaces started softening mid morning on easterly aspects. The top few inches were soft by noon. Found a few very steep or rocky terrain features late morning where the snowpack was weaker and mushier but ski cuts couldn’t get any wet sluffs moving. Snow now has dust on the surface and has developed some sun textures and runnels on sunnier aspects.  …

CBAC

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WEEKLY SNOWPACK, WEATHER, AND AVALANCHE SUMMARY 4/9/21

Date: 04/09/2021 Name: Jared Berman Zone: Crested Butte Backcountry   Wet avalanches and warm temperatures dominated this week. See everything that happened right here.        …

CBAC

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Hunting for normal caution

Date of Observation: 04/09/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Copper Creek Aspect: South East, South Elevation: 9500 – 13000′ Avalanches: Nothing new today. Documented more D1 to D2.5 wet activity and cornice falls from the recent cycle; see photos of the most noteworthy slides. Also crossed a couple of the larger debris piles (D3.5+) I’ve come across from one of the February cycles; one knocked over a few mature trees. Weather: Cool and breezy up high kept surfaces frozen at ridgetop. Clear skies. Snowpack: Snowpack looks and feels like a May snowpack. No signs of instability or avalanche problems noted throughout the tour. Snow surfaces stayed frozen or thawed to ideal corn near and above treeline by 12:30 or so. The…

CBAC

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Normal Spring

Date of Observation: 04/08/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Ruby Range Near Irwin Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 10,500-12,600ft Weather: Overcast sky became partly cloudy. Moderate westerly winds on upper elevation ridge lines. Light winds at lower elevations in the AM hours. Snowpack: Normal spring, not much to say. We skied SE to E around noon. The top couple inches of the snowpack was nice and soft. On real steep slope angles you could just get that dirty 2-3″ of snow to start pushing down hill.…

CBAC

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A few more from the recent wet cycle

Date of Observation: 04/08/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: SE/NW Mountains Avalanches: Flew around the forecast area looking for notable avalanches from last weekend’s wet cycle not yet reported. I Estimated an additional15-20 large Wet Loose avalanches running out of steep terrain generally from E-S-W near and above treeline. Around 8 new Wet Slab avalanches were observed, all in the D2 range on a variety of steep, sunny slopes. Snowpack: Turning brown.     [/gravityforms]…

CBAC

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West Side Kebler Check In

Date of Observation: 04/07/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: West Side Kebler and East Beckwith Aspect: Elevation: 9,000-10,500 Avalanches: Old avalanche activity was similar to other locations around our greater forecast area. Loose wet avalanches or rollerballs on all aspects except some high north. Some loose wet avalanches also gouged deeply into the snowpack or triggered wet slab avalanches. Only noticed a couple of proper wet slabs. No fresh avalanche activity from today. Weather: Partly cloudy and winds helping keep the snow cool. Down low on the east side of Kebler pass the cold winds where holding a steady breeze. Down low on the west side of Kebler Pass the winds were calm. Snowpack: Snow surfaces softened in the afternoon on…

CBAC

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crusts, corn, slides

Date of Observation: 04/07/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: upper slate drainage Avalanches: Not sure when these ran or if they’ve already been documented. North end of Schuylkill ridge, probably ENE facing? And Purple Ridge near Poverty Gultch, SW facing. See photos. Weather: Windy AF up high, in and out of clouds, cool air temps Snowpack: Skiing just before noon, South facing at 12,500 showed minimal signs of softening. By 12,000 the top inch was soft. By 11,500 and SE exposure we got into full corn, 2-3 inches of soft snow. Mushy but still supportive by 10,500 at 12:15.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Punchy Cement Creek

Date of Observation: 04/06/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek drainage Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,000′ – 11,400′   Avalanches: Several gouging loose avalanches below treeline on east and west aspects (see photos). Views into the upper elevation terrain of Brush and Cement Creeks revealed far less recent wet avalanche activity than areas closer to Crested Butte. Did not observe any obvious Wet Slab activity, even on terrain features that had the same characteristics of observed Wet Slab avalanches nearer to Crested Butte. Weather: Mostly clear skies transitioning to partly cloudy by mid-day. Moderate westerly winds at ridgetop. Temperatures cooled throughout the day. Snowpack: Traveling on snowmobiles in the AM was fairly…

CBAC

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More wet avalanches

Date of Observation: 04/06/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate River corridor to Angel Pass area Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 8,900′. – 11.600′   Avalanches: Numerous recent wet avalanches on northeast through east through south through west aspects. Many were small, but some were large, gouging Wet Loose avalanches. A couple of recent Wet Slabs were observed as well. Two fresh avalanches occurred today on northeast slopes of Schuylkill Ridge – a full-depth Wet Slab below treeline and a gouging long-running Wet Loose avalanche. Weather: Very warm temperatures with thin high clouds passing by through early afternoon. Light winds from southwest below ridgetop. Snowpack: Spring transition is well underway, with…

CBAC

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Evening avalanche obs

Date of Observation: 04/04/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Road tour Aspect: West Avalanches: A handful of additional D2’s that ran late in the day on westerly aspects, both wet slabs and wet loose. See photos for details.…

CBAC

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Dirty diaper obs. 3 p.m.

Date of Observation: 04/04/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass TH Avalanches: See photos. Continued large wet activity. Numerous D1.5 to D2.5 since yesterday’s visit to the same location at 4 p.m. Some may have run late yesterday, most likely ran today. In shallower terrain, there were more wet loose gouging to the ground and a few pulled out narrow wet slabs. Otherwise, more surface sluffs. Weather: Mix of sun and clouds may have kept surfaces a bit cooler. Warm temps, calm winds below treeline. Snowpack: Poor refreeze. Ski and boot pen was to the ground this afternoon on below treeline slopes.…

CBAC

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Gothic debris pile

Date of Observation: 04/03/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Aspect: South West, West Avalanches: Fresh wet debris pile below the west side of Gothic, ran late this afternoon. Estimated D2.5…

CBAC

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Gibson Ridge wet slide

Date of Observation: 04/03/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gibson Ridge Aspect: East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: Large wet avalanche ran today  …

CBAC

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Wet activity ramping up

Date of Observation: 04/03/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracite Range and driving tour Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,600 – 12,200 Avalanches: See photos. Large wet avalanche activity on the rise. We noted numerous natural D2 wet loose avalanches on all but due north aspects and at all elevations. Many of these gouged deep into the snowpack. Some ran today, some yesterday. Several large wet slabs, generally D2 in size, ran today. The one off of the east face of Gothic may have been up to D3 given the long runout (which was obscured from view). Weather: Africa Hot. Snowpack: We found frozen surfaces this morning and good corn skiing on due south aspects until about…

CBAC

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Wet Slab Star Peak Zone

Date of Observation: 04/02/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Star Ridge above Friends Hut Aspect: South Elevation: ATL Avalanches: Wet slab triggered by wet loose late afternoon 4/2. Wet slab triggered below the rock band. Debris ran over the bench and triggered another wet slab.…

CB Avalanche Center

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2:30 PM avy obs

Date of Observation: 04/03/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Location: NW/SE Mountains Aspect: East, South East, South Avalanches: Mineral Point had several small loose wet avalanches ATL on the South face and several large loose wet avalanches ATL on the East face. A couple of these were long-running with one gouging to the ground in spots and running to valley bottom. On Baldy, ESE ATL a wet loose initiating from a rock band triggered a wet slab mid slope. One other long-running and gouging wet loose was spotted on an ESE aspect NTL above Copper Creek. Weather: Hot AF.     [/gravityforms]…

CBAC

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Late day wet snow check-in

Date of Observation: 04/02/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Roadside observations around Crested Butte. Late day wet snow check-in. Assess depth of melt-water infiltration in relation to potential Wet Slab avalanche problems. Aspect: North, North East, East, West, North West Elevation: 10,000 Avalanches: Photo 1: A wet snow surface on a mostly dry snowpack at 10,000′ on a northeast-facing slope. April 2, 2021. Photo 2: A pattern of small natural avalanches on southeasterly-facing slopes near and above treeline. April 2, 2021 Photo 3: A small natural avalanche on a south-facing slope above treeline. April 2, 2021 Photo 4: An example of an easterly-facing slope that could become dangerous without a freeze at mid-elevations. Photo 5: A pair of recent slab…

CB Avalanche Center

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Weekly Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche Summary 4/2/21

Date: 04/02/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Crested Butte Backcountry   Spring has sprung. It’s getting hot out there and liquid water is making its way deep into the snowpack. See what this all means for spring skiing right here.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Wet obs

Date of Observation: 04/02/2021   Zone: Northwest/Southeast boundary Location: Mt. Emmons Aspect: North East, East, South East, West, North West Elevation: 9500-12000′ Avalanches: A handful of small wet loose avalanches ran today, generally on northeast and some east aspects at all elevations. Skier triggered a couple of wet loose avalanches this afternoon below treeline on a northeast aspect. The slides gouged through most of the snowpack, large enough bury someone in a gulley (~D1.5). These were in steep, rocky terrain holding a shallow and weak snowpack that is just now becoming saturated. Weather: Unseasonably warm: Highs reached mid 50’s at 10,000′ and 40 at 12,000′. Partly cloudy skies. Light ridgetop winds. Snowpack: Several pits on E, SE, and W aspects…

CBAC

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Wolverine Cornice Fall

Date of Observation: 04/01/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mt Emmons. Wolverine Basin. Aspect: East Elevation: 12,100 Avalanches: WL-N-R1-D1-O E facing rock band at the top of wolverine basin bowl feature.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Large cornice avalanche

Date of Observation: 04/01/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Evan Ross Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Southern Ruby Range Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 9,000′-12,600′ Avalanches: Observed several Wet Loose avalanches, both natural and human triggered. Size ranged from D1-D1.5 with activity primarily on steep East, South and Southwest slopes near and above tree line. While traversing the Ruby spine we encountered several large overhanging Cornices which had begun to pull back from the ridge. Two of these were triggered from dry ground on the ridge by simply “pole whacking” the gap. We got a close look at the previously reported Cornice Avalanche on the SE flanks of Mt Owen. This was a big section of cornice that fell down and resulted…

CB Avalanche Center

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2 feet of new overnight!

Date of Observation: 04/01/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Aspect: East, South East Elevation: 9500 – 12,600′ Avalanches: A D2 cornice fall off of the east face of Baldy, looked a few days old. Some D2 wet loose debris below the east face of Gothic, likely from last weekend’s warmup. We ski triggered some very small/shallow sluffs in the top few inches of snow. Weather: Light ridgetop winds. Cold temps this morning, rapid warming through midday. Clear skies. Snowpack: Made ya look. April Fools. Some small rollerballs and sluffing as the top few inches of recent snow became moist. Crusts below that snow (on E, SE aspects) remained frozen before noon. More snow for entrainment on northeasterly tilts where…

CBAC

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Small wet loose

Date of Observation: 04/01/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: East face of mineral Aspect: East Avalanches: Skier triggered small wet loose. Slow and shallow, could have been worse with more exposure. Sorry no pic. Weather: Clear and strong sun. Snow surface wet at 1030.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Carbon Peak

Date of Observation: 03/31/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Carbon Peak Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9-11,000′ Avalanches: The slow trickle of large avalanches continues. In Whetstone Mountain’s Hidden Lake bowl, a broad (~250′ wide) section of very large cornice released around 12,200′ and triggered a Persistent Slab avalanche that broke at the ground on a northeast-facing slope. The avalanche looked fresh. Weather: Chilly start following a strong freeze, warmed to just above freezing. Calm, and clear. Snowpack: Near and below treeline south and southwest facing slopes have previously drained water to the ground. Little concern for future Wet Slabs. East to southeast-facing slopes near treeline could still pose a near-term Wet Slab concern. Thin slabs (30-70cm…

CB Avalanche Center

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snow survey at bottom of red lady glades

Date of Observation: 03/31/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snow course-Keystone Aspect: Elevation: BTL Weather: calm, clear, and below freezing before 9AM Snowpack: snow depth is 34 inches and snow water equivalent is 10 inches. melt freeze crust. in the shade there was a trace of recent snow on melt freeze crust. Snow was fully supportive on skis and ski boots. at one sample point, we found an ice layer but not an ice lens 6 inches from the ground.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Normal Caution

Date of Observation: 03/31/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Treasury Aspect: North, North East, East, South Elevation: 9,000-13,300 Avalanches: A few small wind slabs that had run over the last couple days. 1 one NE and a few on E to SE. All above treeline. Weather: Cool northerly winds helped keep the heating in check. Clear Sky. Snowpack: Normal caution on steep slopes or for small isolated avalanche problems. We considered trying to avoid a few trigger points when we were exposed to high consequence terrain. Thin surface slabs from the previous winds were stubborn, but still something we ended up managing a little in extreme terrain. Plenty of dry snow out there that is waiting to transition during the upcoming…

CBAC

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Don’t forget the sunscreen

Date of Observation: 03/30/2021 Name: Jack Caprio, Eric Murrow Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Corridor Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,500′-12,000′ Avalanches: No new avalanches observed Weather:  Sky cover became partly cloudy in the morning with lots of sunshine by noon. Light northerly winds with moderate gusts. Warm temperatures near and below treeline out of the wind. Snowpack: We targeted wind-loaded slopes up to 12k in search of wind slab and persistent slab problems.  Recent wind-drifting in this area did not create much Wind Slab formation. We did step into steep N-facing, slightly wind-loaded alpine terrain. Near ridgeline, N/ NW wind events throughout the season had made the snowpack very shallow. The first 50 vertical feet…

CBAC

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Gothic 7am weather update

Date of Observation: 03/30/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Townsite Weather: Snow started near 11 p.m. and was steady but light through the night, though denser than of late. there hs been 3½” new with water 0.30″. Wind was strong at first getting lighter through the night and now almost calm. Currently overcast with light snow. the high was 45F, low 21 and the current 21. The snowpack is at 45″. billy  …

CBAC

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Windy West Brush

Date of Observation: 03/29/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: West Brush Creek towards White Mountain Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,000 – 12,300′   Avalanches: Lots of previous Wet Loose from steep sunny areas all small in size. Did not observe any fresh loose avi’s while in terrain between noon and 5pm. One fresh Wind Slab observed at 12k on NE slope. Weather: Mostly clear skies with warm temperatures. Strong SW winds at upper elevations with gusty conditions below treeline. Snow transport was generally inefficient due to high speeds blasting snow into the atmosphere; isolated features picked up loading. Snowpack: Traveled through a shallower part of the forecast area moving through…

CBAC

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Windy!

Date of Observation: 03/29/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mount Emmons Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9k-12.5k Avalanches: Small wet loose activity on east-facing slopes of all elevations. SW and W facing slopes had more wet loose activity below treeline due to winds keeping alpine surfaces cool. NE below treeline got in on the action too in the happy chutes (see photo). Weather: Few clouds. Warm temps below treeline. The alpine was very breezy with consistent moderate SW winds along with strong gusts. Snowpack: Isolated 2-5 inch wind pockets on NE and E facing terrain near ridgeline. Previous tracks from yesterday in a steep alpine chute had been erased overnight due to wind-loading. Although the wind slabs…

CB Avalanche Center

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Ripe Cornice

Date of Observation: 03/27/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: West Elks Aspect: South East, South Elevation: 12,000′ Avalanches: Other than some smaller sheds of recent snow attributed to solar warming below rock bands and such, no recent notable avalanches observed. While traversing the ridge to access our ski line, my partner put a left ski just a little to far out on a big cornice and punched through far enough to trigger a school bus-sized cornice fall. The ridge is very sharp (knife ridge) in this particular spot and his right ski didn’t leave bare rock on the windward side of the cornice when it failed. Fortunately, my buddy was in a safe enough location to not take a ride, but…

CB Avalanche Center

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Sprang break

Date of Observation: 03/28/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Ruby Range Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 9,000 – 12,100′ Avalanches: 2 recent cornice falls. One on Garfield Peak plowed to the ground in a steep, rocky feature (D1.5), one on Owen triggered several layers of slab avalanches and ran impressively far (D2). Dozens of small wet loose avalanches from yesterday, generally D1. Wet activity continued today. Weather: Light winds this morning, some moderate gusts midday. Clear skies and warm temperatures. Snowpack: Wet loose activity: below treeline east and a few northeast aspects were active today, south aspects are transitioning to stable corn snow. Near and above treeline, activity continued on east, southeast, and south aspects. We finished the tour before westerly…

CBAC

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Here comes the sun

Date of Observation: 03/27/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass Aspect: North, North East, East, West, North West Elevation: 9,400-12,500 Avalanches: 1 intentionally ski-triggered wind slab avalanche on heavily loaded east-facing test slope above treeline. The crown ranged from 6-24 inches. The larger part of the crown (2 ft) was the trigger point. This was the most windloaded area on the slope. The crown pulled back about a foot above the skier but the skier was able to easily ski out of it because the slope was small.  A couple of other small slabs in the area that released in the past 12 hours or so from wind effect. 15-20 small loose wet avalanches on sunny near and above treeline…

CBAC

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Avalanches in Ruby Range

Date of Observation: 03/27/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Ruby Range Avalanches: See photos and captions. A handful of slab avalanches, D1 to D2 that ran in the last day or two. These appeared to generally involve just the new and windblown snow from the past few days, or wet sluffs today. One on the NE face of OBJ was thick enough it might have broken into older layers, although it was too far away to say anything with confidence.…

CBAC

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Natural persistent slab and wind slab

Date of Observation: 03/27/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Whetstone and near Copper Lake Aspect: East, South Elevation: ATL Avalanches: See photos Fresh avalanche (appears to be a persistent slab) on an east aspect ATL of Mt. Whetstone, D2 in size. Smaller wind slab avalanche on a south aspect above Copper Lake, D1.5 in size…

CBAC

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Propagating results

Date of Observation: 03/26/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mt. Emmons Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,000 to 11,500′ Avalanches: One small wind slab likely ran naturally yesterday in Coon Basin (SE aspect, ATL). Skier triggered a handful of shallow sluffs on steep, northerly terrain, about 6″ deep or less. Weather: Afternoon tour brought overcast to broken skies. Brief convective pulses of moderate snowfall (S2) with an inch or so of accumulation, generally light winds with a few stronger gusts associated with the snow squalls. Snowpack: Looking for feedback for persistent slabs in the type of terrain we’ve been warning about: shallow/previously avalanched, previously windloaded. Slabs are getting a little thicker now and we didn’t feel comfortable ski cutting or really…

CBAC

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Mt Emmons

Date of Observation: 03/26/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 9,300-12,300 Weather: Calm to light winds with a few stronger gusts transporting snow. Mostly cloudy sky with convective cells moving through and creating quick bursts of snowfall. Maybe an inch or two of new snow accumulation today, but it was settling quickly. Snowpack: Potential wind slabs were small and from what I observed were really confined to right near the ridgeline or cross-loaded terrain features. Otherwise, the cream was getting thicker with periods of sun between the clouds. Similar to yesterday’s ob in Washington Gulch, there was about 4″ of recent snow accumulation down low and around 8 to 10″ up higher. No avalanche problems were observed…

CBAC

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Weekly Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche Summary 3/26/21

Date: 03/26/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Crested Butte Backcountry   Consistent moisture throughout the week rewarded us with many pow days in the snow-favored areas of the zone. Check out the weekly summary to see how these storms impacted avalanche conditions.…

CBAC

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Anthracite Mesa-Coneys

Date of Observation: 03/27/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Washington Gulch-Coneys Aspect: North East, East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: NA-poor visibility Weather: Obscured skies with S1 and S2 snowfall. Calm. On the skin out, obstructed skies, calm and intermittent S-1 snowfall. Snowpack: Supportive snowpack valley bottom to the ridge. 48-hour snow: 3 to 6 inches with 8 inches on the leeward side of the ridge line. New snow seems to be bonding to the last melt freeze crust. Triggered shallow storm sluff at the convex entrance to first bowl.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 03/26/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Very light, scattered dense snow Thursday, then light snow after midnight so the 24 hour total is 4″ new and 0.24″ of water. Snowpack is at 49½”, the deepest since mid February. Calm yesterday and so far today. High yesterday 33F, low today 18, current 19. Overcast with a very light snow.…

CBAC

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Cream surfing good

Date of Observation: 03/25/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,000-11,000 Weather: Mostly Cloudy. Several nice burst of snow interspersed with sun and greenhouse conditions. Calm winds. Snowpack: About 4″ of new snow down in the valley and about 8″ near the top of Coneys. New snow was well bonded to the supportable crust below. Hand pits wouldn’t pop anything above the crust and no signs to instability. Same results at ridgeline. Old tracks form yesterday were still visible off the highest point of Coneys. The new snow was definitely feeling the heat, but man the cream sure is surfing good.…

CBAC

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Snodgrass Profiles

Date of Observation: 03/24/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass Frontside Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 10,200-11,500 Avalanches: none Weather: BKN moved to OVC with S-1 snow showers late afternoon. no accumulation. temperartures 20-28F. Mostly calm. Snowpack: I dug 12 full profiles today for a CU researcher BTL snodgrass, N-E aspects. No stability tests as I was collecting density data in treed terrain, but still same poor structure, P-hard slab above 20-40cm 2-4mm F+ DH. has improved a bit from same locations dug 1 month ago, F- DH then, compared to F+ DH now, but still weak, and stiffer slab. General HS in areas dug between 11, 200 and 10,000 was 90-130cm.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Washington Gulch obs

Date of Observation: 03/24/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Washington Gulch – obs from near TH to treeline on Baldy Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,400 – 11,900′   Avalanches: Good views midday showed no recent avalanche activity. Weather: Partly cloudy skies, with a good amount of sunshine in this area. Snow showers developed in areas east and west of Elkton, but no snowfall from 1130 – 430. Some thunder was heard from nearby convective cells. Maybe an inch or so of new overnight in this area. Winds were variable and light – very little blowing snow observed at upper elevations. Snowpack: Covered a lot of ground on the snowmachine looking…

CBAC

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Small persistent slab

Date of Observation: 03/24/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Lower Slate Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 9k-11k Avalanches: Intentionally ski triggered a small persistent slab avalanche on a wind-loaded feature just off a road cut. The avalanche broke in two places: On the most recent interface about 10-15 cms down from the surface, and on the 3/10 interface which was buried about 40 cms. Weather: Overcast and warm. Snowpack: I stayed below treeline all day near the border of the NW and SE zones. In the protected areas where no wind loading has occurred the snowpack is very weak top to bottom. Generally, no slab avalanche concerns on protected northerly slopes due to lack of a slab in…

CB Avalanche Center

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RMBL Study Plot 3/23/21

Date of Observation: 03/23/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Aspect: Elevation: 9500…

CB Avalanche Center

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Trickle of new snow

Date of Observation: 03/24/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass Corridor Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: Below treeline   Avalanches: no, recent avalanches observed. Spotted one old crown on SE aspect below treeline in Elk Basin. Weather: Mostly cloudy skies with light snowfall throughout the day. Around 1 – 2 inches by morning with an additional inch during the day. Light winds below treeline. Snowpack: Traveled across a number of east and northeast slopes below treeline that previously avalanched in early February. Around 90cm of settled snow has accumulated on bed surfaces with HS around 125cm in top of the start zone. No concerning test results found (ECTN 12 on mid-March facet/crust interface down 40cm). On an east…

CBAC

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Poverty Gulch

Date of Observation: 03/22/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: 9,500-11,500 Avalanches: No slab avalanches observed. Small debris piles from loose snow avalanches. Weather: Clear sky in the morning, became mostly cloudy in the afternoon with periods of sun or poor vis and convective snow showers. The average calm or light winds would get a bit more gusty during the stormy periods and I’d assume they were stronger at ridgeline. Our skin track did refill between laps. Snowpack: Last weekend’s interface was around 30cm’s deep. Given the amount of recent and now well settled snow, we found ourselves initially managing for wider spread storm slabs and more specific wind slabs. That recent snow was resting…

CBAC

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Scarp Ridge, Elk Basin, Redwell, Red Lady Bowl

Date of Observation: 03/22/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Scarp ridge/Indy Basin/Elk Basin/Mount Emmons Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West Elevation: 9000-12,400   Avalanches: No avalanches observed except for an older crown line in NW facing ATL Peeler Basin off Scarp Ridge Weather: Mostly clear skies gave way to mostly cloudy and poor visibility due to convective S1-S2 snow showers. heavily rimed snowfall, 1/2″ accumulation during these showers. Snowpack: Snowpack was mostly quiet, mix of 2-6″ new snow over the last 48hrs resting on mix of crusts, windbuff and small grained facets. Some minimal windloading on south facing ridgelines from early morning northerly winds. No signs of instability across variety of aspects. No significant windslab…

CB Avalanche Center

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Bedsurface obs

Date of Observation: 03/22/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Lower Slate Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,000 to 11,400′ Avalanches: A few small loose avalanches ran today on higher elevation terrain in the Ruby Range from solar warming (dry and wet loose). Weather: Mostly sunny mid-morning with clouds building midday. A few very light snow showers without any accumulating snow. Light northwest winds. Snowpack: Tested the flanks of a few bed surfaces near and below treeline to see how they were holding up after the last round of snowfall (About 3″ to 6″ of settled storm snow here). A few ski cuts and column tests on paths that ran in mid-February did not produce any unstable results. In general, the structure…

CBAC

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Fresh Cream

Date of Observation: 03/21/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Upper Slate River Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: 9,000-12,000 Avalanches: Good visibility in the afternoon lead to only one slab avalanche observation. Fresh small wind slab on Augusta’s SE face at 12,500ft. Below treeline near 10,200ft, we hung out near a very steep NE slope that had a quick shed cycle from the warm temps and a period of sun. These were small in size. Several other small loose snow avalanches were noted from the sun or warm temps. Weather: Snowfall ramped up after sunrise through the mid-day. Several pulses of heavy snow, interspersed with breaks in the clouds and strong solar. The greatest 24hr snow total measured was on…

CBAC

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Skier Triggered Wind Slab

Date of Observation: 03/21/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Peeler Basin Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 12,100’ Avalanches: Skier triggered (D2?) wind slab off ridgeline ATL on northeast aspect. Obvious convex rollover and poor terrain selection. Crown approx 2’ and stepped down mid-slope to 3/10 layer. Skier was not caught and able to ski out but pretty spicy! Weather: Mixed snow and sun. Maybe accumulated 1-2” during the day. Very calm wind. Snowpack: 6-8” new above 11k. Seemed generally non-wind affected until obvious loading on ridgeline. Solar aspects became very moist with each sun pop throughout the day.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Dirty Huckin

Date of Observation: 03/21/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Peeler Basin Aspect: North Elevation: 9500’ to 12,000’ Avalanches: On above treeline, northerly aspects: Ski cut a small wind slab (12” thick) in a steep gulley below a cornice. Unintentionally triggered a small persistent slab (~18” soft slab broke on facets) after hucking a cliff band. The crown broke along the base of the cliff. This was in steep, rocky terrain where the total snowdepth was about 2 feet deep due to previous slides. Also several small natural loose dry avalanches ran today. Weather: Mostly cloudy with pulses of light snowfall mixed with brief windows of sunshine. Light ridgetop winds with light transport out of the southwest. Snowpack: 3” to 4” new…

CBAC

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Anthracite Mesa-Coneys

Date of Observation: 03/21/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Aspect: North East, East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: NA-poor visbility. Weather: Mostly calm winds on the tour with light winds on the ridge line. Skies were obscured and snowfall rate was S1/S2. On the skin out skies were obstructed with scattered S-1 snowfall. Winds picked up and were light with moderate gusts in the valley bottom. Snowpack: Less than 3 inches of new snow in the skin track in the morning. On the leeward side of Convex Corner, snow depth was 5 inches. In the valley bottom, snow was not supportive on upper melt freeze crust. Snow in First Bowl was supportive. Triggered a shallow slough in the new snow that traveled…

CB Avalanche Center

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Large natural, repeat offender on Cement

Date of Observation: 03/20/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: North bowl of Cement Aspect: North Elevation: 12,000 Avalanches: Large natural persistent slab avalanche ran sometime after Friday at 2 pm. First observed on Saturday from a distance on Star Pass. This path ran back in February. Given the aspect and elevation, this was likely a dry slab that was triggered by surface warming.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Wash Gulch

Date of Observation: 03/20/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Aspect: South, West Elevation: Avalanches: 1x Wet slab on a W facing BTL slope that seemed to gouge to the ground and ran a surprising distance down a gulley. Maybe 100 ft. wide and ran ~1,000 ft. I like to think it was animal triggered based on the tracks going in then tracks coming out in a lower spot. But that might just be me believing what I want to believe for the sake of drama. (CBAC Note: Comparing some old observations this looks like the crown of an old avalanche reported in February that has a more melted out and wet appearance now. Guess it needs to snow more…) Weather: Wasn’t…

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic Highest Temperature Of The Year

Date of Observation: 03/19/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Weather: Not much up but today was the warmest so far this year st 48F and the first day the snow really started to melt on flat ground. Attached is a shot of wet, loose slides between Mt Bellview and the beginning of Rustler’s Gulch. And today is the first day the Robins are here.…

CBAC

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Refilled Bed Surface

Date of Observation: 03/19/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Carbon Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 9,000-12,000ft Avalanches: More small loose wet avalanches were noted. All small in size. Still lots of terrain that hasn’t shed, if it is going to shed… Observed 2 other new and notable slab avalanches. They both released since the last round of snow and look reasonably sharp or fresh. These were both viewed from far away so more specific details would just make for a poor estimate. Both failed on NE facing slopes between 11,700ft and 12,000ft. The avalanche on Ohio Peak looked more like a D1.5 while the avalanche out int he West Elks was a D2. Weather: Some high clouds moved in for part…

CBAC

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Weekly Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche Summary 3/19/21

Date of Observation: 03/19/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Crested Butte Backcountry   The doughnut hole effect showed up in full force this week. Irwin received 20+ inches and areas closer to town only 4 inches. Click here to see how this storm impacted avalanche conditions throughout the zone.  …

CBAC

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Persistent slab hunting

Date of Observation: 03/18/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Schuylkill Ridge Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,000 to 11,400′ Avalanches: Widespread cycle of small wet loose avalanches today above treeline in the Ruby Range (~40 avalanches), generally D1 in size. We had good views of abundant activity on east through south aspects, limited views of westerly aspects. There were fewer slides that initiated near treeline and only a few slides closer to town on peaks like Gothic and Mt. Emmons. Did not observe any slides below treeline. One small wet loose triggered a large persistent slab on an east aspect near treeline of Schuylkill Ridge today around noon. Weather: Few clouds, calm winds, spring-like temps. Snowpack: Today’s goal was to…

CBAC

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Slides at Friends Hut

Date of Observation: 03/17/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Above Friends Hut Aspect: South West Elevation: 12,000′ Avalanches: Triggered a SS-ASu-R3-D1.5 on 3/17/21 on a small SW slope at 12k above the Friends Hut. Crown was 4″-8″ and the slide propagated the whole 200′ width of the feature. This ran on the crust buried on 3/10. Several other naturals from the last two to three days observed running below rocks on S, W, and E aspects mostly D1 in size. The largest was almost D2 in size and on a steep W facing slope of Star Peak on the Aspen side of Pearl Pass. Some other small loose wet observed.  …

CBAC

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Skier triggered persistent slab on Axtell

Date of Observation: 03/18/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Wang Chung Face Aspect: North Elevation: NTL Avalanches: Skier triggered shallow slab avalanche, ran to the bottom of the terrain feature on Wang Chung. Traversed off of it and wasn’t caught.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Free Lesson on Carbon

Date of Observation: 03/17/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Carbon Peak North Bowl Aspect: North Elevation: 11,200 Avalanches: While making initial turns into the N Bowl on Carbon Peak, I triggered large shooting cracks that propagated 15+ meters on either side of me. After the slope fractured, the slab did not slide on a mid 30-degree slope. I was able to climb out of the start zone and we descended through low angled terrain. Weather: Snowpack: Throughout the day we had skied NE and SW facing terrain on Axtell without notable signs of instability. On a N aspect of Carbon Peak @ 11,200 feet, we did not find an obvious crust layer at the 3/10 interface. Snowpack tests resulted in an…

CB Avalanche Center

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The edge of the donut hole

Date of Observation: 03/17/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Upper Slate Aspect: East, South Elevation: BTL Avalanches: A handful of small loose avalanches entraining the top few inches of moist snow ran this morning on southerly and easterly aspects before clouds filled in. Ski triggered a thin wind slab on a south-facing test slope where northerly winds were drifting snow. Weather: Clear this morning, clouds increased by midday with a few light snow showers. Light to moderate downvalley (northerly) winds at low elevations. Snowpack: Quick tour BTL sampling storm snow totals to check on how large wet loose activity will be the next few days. In Poverty Gulch, there’s about 6″ to 12″ of settled storm snow, depending on wind effect.…

CBAC

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Skier triggered slab

Date of Observation: 03/17/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: ENE aspect of Wolverine Basin Aspect: North East Elevation: 11,400 Avalanches: Skier triggered shallow soft slab (crown approx 6″) around 11:45 AM. Relatively wide crown (see photo – not sure on scale, circle on photo is where the skier dropped in); slough stopped approx 2/3 down the aspect. Skier able to ski out of the moving snow. It appeared that another slab on skier’s right was also triggered; possible remote trigger further skier’s left under a cornice (the party of 4 was not certain if the latter slide noted was there at start of ski – unable to determine from above cornice, but worth noting). Second photo shows smaller slab that was…

CB Avalanche Center

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Upper Cement and Upper Taylor Recreational Snowmobilin’

Date of Observation: 03/16/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek to Upper Taylor Aspect: Elevation: 9,000′ – 12,100′   Avalanches: Observed two small slab avalanches on northeast (Hunter Hill) and east (Star Pass) alpine features. Weather: Mostly cloudy skies with a few periods of sunshine. Winds were light even above treeline in typically windy places, no transport observed. New snow accumulation up to 1.5″ overnight with a few short bursts of S1 during the day. Snowpack: Recreational snowmobile day so made few snowpack obs, only digging was to free my snowmobile. I did measure new snow accumulations since Saturday at the head of Cement Creek at 11,400′ and found 11″ with 1.1″SWE. Snow volumes tapered very quickly as you…

CBAC

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Kebler Pass

Date of Observation: 03/16/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass Aspect: North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,000-11,500ft Avalanches: A few small sluffs on the south side of Ruby. Weather: Mostly cloudy with just enough snow and heat to thicken the new snow. About 3″ of snow had accumulated this since early AM. Calm Wind. Snowpack: Primarily traveled on easterly slopes between 10,500ft and 11,500ft. In these areas, the 3/10 interface was down 40 to 50 cm’s on average, below mostly F hard snow and a couple of other thin crusts. That interface has been well documented and consisted of two crusts with weak snow between. The thin layer of snow between those crusts is notably soft, 1 mm…

CBAC

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Small Skier Triggered Slide

Date of Observation: 03/15/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Redwell Basin Aspect: North, North East, North West Elevation: 11,100’ Avalanches: Small (D1) skier triggered storm slab on NW/W aspect btl. Crown approx 10-12”. Failed on a crust as two ski tracks on more northerly aspect directly adjacent to slide produced no activity. Weather: Cold. Snowy in the morning with patches of blue sky popping through. Mostly clear midday and warm in the sun. Snow was rapidly settling when touched by the sun. Overcast and snowy mid afternoon on exit…

CB Avalanche Center

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Kebler BTL no signs instability

Date of Observation: 03/15/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Aspect: North Elevation: up to 10,600 Avalanches: none Weather: cool Snowpack: no signs of instability on small test slopes up to 40* N facing sheltered in forest. ~12″ of settled pow, well bonded to old snow. HS 135cm-155cm…

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 03/16/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Probably the most snow we received during this whole storm was from 5 to before 7 a.m. this morning with 2″ new, but then only 0.11″ of water with it. The 24 hour total was 3″ new with 0.15″ of water and snow pack is at 44½” deep. Mild with the high 36F, low 11 and current 18. Currently cloudy with light snow and no wind.…

CBAC

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I don’t mind cut-off lows

Date of Observation: 03/15/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass area Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 9,000′-11,200′ Avalanches: No new avalanches observed skies were overcast with limited vis into the surrounding terrain. Weather: OVC, sporadic light snow showers throughout the day amounted to little additional accumulation. Winds were calm below tree line and very light near tree line. Temps remained below freezing. Snowpack: Measured 8″ of new snow overnight which was very low density, around 3%-4%. 2 day HST in this zone is now 22″/~1.25″ SWE. Hand shear tests were breaking above the new/old interface at a density change. No signs of instability were noted while skiing slopes up to 38 degrees in this terrain. Minor cracking was…

CBAC

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Nice Little Refresh

Date of Observation: 03/15/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Washington Gulch Aspect: All Elevation: 9,000-11,300ft Avalanches: Had some fairly good views of lots of terrain and didn’t note any new avalanches. Still lots of old avalanches from last month waiting to get buried. Weather: Clouds cleared a bit throughout the day. Periods of light snowfall during the day put down some nice goose feathers. Didn’t see much for drifting during periods of visibility, but also didn’t spend a lot of time in exposed terrain. Snowpack: Touched all the aspects, but primarily traveled on northerly facing slopes below treeline where the best riding was. At 11,000ft and on shaded slopes, storm totals were currently settled to about 6″. On sunny slopes or at…

CBAC

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Anthracite Mesa-Coneys

Date of Observation: 03/15/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Aspect: North East, East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: NA-poor visbilility. Weather: Skin up: S1 snowfall with a trace of new snow accumulation. Calm. Temperatures were around freezing. Cloud cover was obstructed. Descent: mostly cloudy and calm. Snowpack: 1 to 3 inches of new snow in the skin tracks. Observed about 3 inches of new snow on the ridge and on the leeward side of the ridge, there were 6 inches of snow. Skied between 1st bowl and Convex corner and snow was very supportive. One ski partner observed cornice formation above first and second bowl.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Kebler Pass stuff

Date of Observation: 03/14/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,200′ – 11,300′   Avalanches: Intentionally trigged several D1 loose avalanches on south-facing near treeline slopes – ran on 4-7cm knife hard melt/freeze crust. Remotely triggered a slab on an east aspect at 11,200′ from low-angle terrain above – never got vis below the convex roll so uncertain if it propagated further as it ran downhill. Weather: Overcast skies, moderate northwesterly winds, generally S1 snowfall from 11am – 4pm. Hard to say how much it snowed while out as the storm snow was settling as it accumulated. Snowpack: Midday measured around 12″ new snow w/ .9″SWE at 10,600′. Observed a midstorm…

CBAC

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Orographics return

Date of Observation: 03/14/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 10,000-11,200 Avalanches: Triggered 2 small slabs both running within the new snow on drifted features near and below tree line. Crowns averaged 6-10″. Weather: Overcast, S1-S2 snow showers with 2′ accumulation during the day. Cold with moderate NW winds in large open areas below tree line and all near tree line locations. Snowpack: HST 14″ at 3:30 pm.  Measured 12″ with .8″ SWE at 10:00. Overnight snowfall was low density at around 6%. Density increased slightly through the day but remained quite enjoyable. Minor cracking was observed only in spots where winds were able to drift snow. Cracking and small slabs were breaking within the…

CBAC

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Gothic 7am weather update

Date of Observation: 03/14/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Townsite Weather: Keep moving, nothing to see here. Saturday was windy with just very light snow. Last night no wind but with only light snow so the 23 hour (lose one for DST) total is 2½” new snow with 0.21″ of water while the snowpack is at 44½” deep. Wind started back up this morning just before 6 a.m. so it is currently cloudy and windy but no snow falling. Yesterday’s high was 36F, low 15 and currently 18 while wind is 4-10 W. billy  …

CBAC

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Snodgrass

Date of Observation: 03/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass north side Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,500 – 11,100′   Avalanches: no recent avalanches observed Weather: Clear skies in the morning, with gusty southeasterly winds, gave way to cloudy skies just before noon. Wind reduced significantly once the snowfall began. Intermittent light snowfall from noon until 4 then an increase in snowfall rate of S1 to S2 from 4 to 530. Total new snow as of 530 was 1.5″ at 9,500′. Snowpack: Targeted some north and easterly slopes looking at surfaces that the incoming storm will fall on. On east slopes below treeline a double crust with facets between was observed like in other parts of the range.…

CBAC

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Weird wind loading on 3/12

Date of Observation: 03/12/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: The Playground and Ohio Pass Aspect: North, South, South West Elevation: 10,000   Avalanches: Knocked off a small wind slab that had loaded low into one of the chutes in the playground. Observed a large wet slab that appeared to be only a few days old. Weather: Warm but strong south winds were keeping slopes from wetting extensively. Winds were blowing up the basin and loading in the north chutes from the bottom as well as other aspects. Snowpack: Dug several handpits on the the way up north facing where there was a small facet layer 30cm down under the new March snow. South facing was wetting in the new snow…

CB Avalanche Center

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Who’s got the wax?

Date of Observation: 03/12/2021 Name: Zach Kinler, Zach Guy, Jared Berman, Jack Caprio Zone: Southeast Mountains Aspect: North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 8,800-12,200 Avalanches: 1 small windslab on a northeasterly alpine feature. Weather: Mostly sunny, calm winds in sheltered terrain below treeline with moderate to strong winds on ridgleline. Generally warm temps with freezing level near 11K. Snowpack: Thin and weak below treeline with dry snow on the northern half of the compass with moist snow and softening crusts on the southerlies. Due south at lower elevations was a thick fully supportable crust. This crust became soft and thin as you moved towards East and on a NE aspect just below 11k there was no crust present. This…

CBAC

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WEEKLY SNOWPACK, WEATHER, AND AVALANCHE SUMMARY 3/12/21

Date of Observation: 03/12/2021 Author: Jared Berman, Zach Guy Zone: Crested Butte Backcountry     This week we saw many different avalanche types from wet slabs to dry slabs. Learn all about why this happened and what this means down the road in this week’s Weekly Summary.        …

CB Avalanche Center

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March weak layer

Date of Observation: 03/11/2021 Name: Jack Caprio, Evan Ross, Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Skooks Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,000-11,400 Avalanches: No new avalanches observed. Near ridge line, we initiated collapses along with radiating cracks on recently loaded NE to E facing start zones. Weather: Broken skies for most of the day. Periods of S-1 snowfall. Light winds. Snowpack: We went hunting for information on our recently buried March weak layer ahead of this weekends storm. Below tree line, the weak layer is buried by 4” of recent snow. On easterly facing slopes around 9.5k, the interface consisted of a soft 2” thick MF crust resting on top of 1-2 mm facets. Quick shovel shear tests at…

CB Avalanche Center

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Shallow pockets

Date of Observation: 03/11/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Aspect: North East, East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: On a NE aspect BTL, I skier triggered a couple of shallow soft slabs breaking on the recently buried near-surface facets, that then plowed deeper into the weak snowpack. 6″ thick, D1 in size, ran a few hundred feet. Snowpack: Quick tour to hone in on the distribution of persistent weak layers below treeline near town before the upcoming storm. Generally, anywhere that the current conditions are soft (northeast aspects), there are .5mm to 1.0 mm facets below recent snow and in some cases, thin soft crusts. The crusts become thicker and should handle more of a load on due east or anything south of that.…

CBAC

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Small Soft Slab Avalanche

Date of Observation: 03/10/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,500ft to 11,900ft Avalanches: Remotely triggered one small soft slab from about 10 feet away. Crown estimated to have averaged about 8″ thick, failing in faceted snow between a pair of soft crusts. Steep East aspect 11,600ft. While small in size, this avalanche ran about 1,200 feet through steep terrain. Skier triggered a couple small loose snow avalanches that were mostly stubborn to trigger on steep northerly facing slopes below treeline. Weather: Snowfall tapered off for most of the day, before starting to pick back up again around 5pm. Mostly light to moderate winds were we traveled. Clearly stronger winds at higher elevations and plumes…

CBAC

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Coney’s lap

Date of Observation: 03/10/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coney’s Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,500 – 10,900′   Avalanches: While on tour visibility obscured nearby terrain. Took a pavement tour later in the afternoon during a clear period and was able to gaze at many drifted features around the area and was not able to spot any fresh activity. Weather: Mostly cloudy skies from 930 to 1230. Very light snow without any real accumulation during this period. Moderate westerly winds at ridgetop with some transport observed. Snowpack: Measured 6″ new w/ .45″ SWE at 10,700 feet (noon). East slope at snow measurement site had 3-4cm melt/freeze crust (not quite supportive to skis) underneath new snow with ice columns present…

CBAC

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RMBL Study Plot 3/10/21

Date of Observation: 03/10/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Elevation: 9500…

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 03/10/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Obscured and with off and on snow starting towards midnight. Strong wind has made for drifting snow and blizzard conditions. There was 4″ new snow and water 0.39″ with 44″ on the ground. Wind has been generally moderate with strong gusts up to around 40 mph. Currently obscured with light snow but wind continues, though gusts down to 25 now. Yesterday high was 44F and the current is 16F which is the morning low. It is generally blizzard conditions.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Angry inch

Date of Observation: 03/08/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Mt. Emmons Aspect: North East, South East Elevation: 9500-12200′ Avalanches: Nothing new Weather: Light snowfall, about 1″ of accumulation, moderate westerly winds with light transport at ridgetop, and overcast skies until about 3:30 p.m. Skies started clearing after that. Snowpack: Snow surfaces remained dry at all elevations on northerly aspects, with some minor facet sluffing at lower elevations. On solar slopes, surface crusts remained frozen and supportive on wind-exposed slopes near and above treeline. Below treeline, the crust was punchy (a couple inches thick) midday and thawed by this evening. Boot pen was about shin-deep into wet grains. We dug one pit on a southeast aspect at 10,400′ (see photo). The snowpack…

CBAC

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Concerning Wet Slab Evidence

Date of Observation: 03/07/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red Coon Glades Aspect: East, South East, South, South West Elevation: 9000-11,200   Avalanches: Only fresh avalanche observed today was the D1.5 wet loose in Red Lady Bowl. Weather: Solid inversion this morning with valley temps in teens and 12,000 not dipping below 25F. Very light westerly winds, rapidly warming temperatures between 8:30 and 10:30am. Overcast skies for most of the day aided the greenhouse effect and snow surface warming. Snowpack: Snowpack started with a decent freeze below 10,500ft, but quickly softened on southerly facing BTL and NTL terrain by 10am, especially above the inversion (~10,500ft). Persistent slab structure in all south facing elevations today, but not until the more open…

CB Avalanche Center

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Another hot one

Date of Observation: 03/07/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Ruby Range: Upper OBJ Basin Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: 10,500 – 12,800′   Avalanches: Widespread wet avalanches from the past few days on E, S, and W aspects; mostly D1 to D1.5 in size a couple D2s. Most of these were either wet loose involving the recent snow or thin soft slabs (6 to 8″ thick) triggered as the recent snow got moist or wet. One was a large wet slab that failed at the ground several feet thick on a south aspect NTL of Schuylkill Ridge. We only saw one wet loose run today (hard to keep track though), but it was easy to trigger small wet…

CBAC

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Red Lady Bowl

Date of Observation: 03/07/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red Lady Bowl Aspect: South East, South Elevation: 12,000 Avalanches: As advertised, some wet slides this afternoon in Red Lady Bowl. Unsure of how triggered.…

CB Avalanche Center

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EMGT route

Date of Observation: 03/06/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Heli flight along the Elk Mountains Grand Traverse route Aspect: Elevation:   Avalanches: Remarkably few recent avalanches. Only observed one fresh Wet Slab avalanche, and no previously unreported Wet Loose avalanches. We saw numerous large Persistent Slab avalanches seen from the mid-February avalanche cycle, but these were primarily restricted to near treeline, in areas of generally weaker, shallower snow cover. High alpine terrain showed few signs of large to very large avalanches. Those Persistent Slab avalanches seen tended to be wind-loaded features lower on the mountain in areas with weaker snow cover. The big alpine paths in the Star Pass area have not yet gone through a major avalanche cycle this…

CB Avalanche Center

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Dry north, swampy south on Baldy

Date of Observation: 03/06/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Baldy south side and northwest side Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,400′ – 12,400′   Avalanches: Observed a healthy number of small D1 loose avalanches from Friday throughout Ruby Range (most originated from steep rocky areas with some degree of southerly tilt), but did not notice any fresh avalanches today. Returned to town at dark, so was unable to look around the range from the pavement with binos. Weather: Thin high cloud cover, very warm temperatures, and generally light winds 5 -15mph above treeline. Snowpack: Ascended southerly-facing terrain that had soft, slightly moist surfaces up through 12k by noon. Descended down through northwesterly terrain near…

CBAC

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Coon Basin wet slab

Date of Observation: 03/06/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: North side of coon Basin Aspect: South East Elevation: 11,500   Avalanches: I triggered an avalanch 8-18″ deep and 70′ wide, ran 500′ vertical to the bottom of coon basin.I traversed under the cornice intending to take an easier route and quickly went from dense snow to shallow wet snow and rocks (see picture).went for a ride maby 200′.managed to stand up on my skis (see dirt spot) and let it pass. the intention was to ski down the ridge not coon basin. I was too late in the day to be on that pitch. the slope angle at the trigger point was at least 40 Weather: high overcast light breeze…

CB Avalanche Center

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GMT-Reboot

Date of Observation: 03/06/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: GMT Reduction (East River-Paradise Divide-Washington Gulch) Aspect: Elevation: BTL, NTL   Avalanches: didn’t take pictures of the wet loose avalanches on south aspects of Baldy and east aspects of Gothic. 1. Mt Belleview-NTL on W/SW aspect: slab avalanche (D1 to D2) CBAC NOTE – reported 2/22 ob here 2. Mt. Baldy-NTL on SW aspect wet slab 3. Coneys-BTL on E/NE aspect: slab (D0.5-D1) CBAC NOTE – reported 3/2 ob here Weather: Temperatures remained lower than yesterday’s sauna due to thin cloud cloud cover. Calm. Snowpack: snow is transitioning rapidly on southern aspects BTL as a melt freeze crust develops.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Coon Basin skier-triggered Wet slab

Date of Observation: 03/06/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coon Basin Aspect: South East Elevation: NTL   Avalanches: Wet slab avalanche that ran sometime before 1:30 pm. A later report from the party involved revealed this was a skier-triggered avalanche. An observation will be submitted by the reporting party.   [/gravityforms]…

CBAC

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Cement Creek

Date of Observation: 03/05/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Upper Cement Creek and Upper Taylor River Aspect: Elevation: up to 9,000-12,400′   Avalanches: 3 small wet loose avalanches ran above treeline on steep rocky south-facing slopes in the Upper Taylor River headwaters. Surprisingly no other wet loose avalanches observed. Numerous roller balls seen, but none that gouged or spread into a pushy wet avalanche. Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: Calm Temperature: 43 F Sky Cover: Clear Depth of Total Snow: 150 cm Weather Description: Warm, calm day. No blowing snow observed. Snowpack: The upper snowpack is gaining strength and making it more difficult to influence weak snow below. Average snowpack in the upper Cement Creek and upper Taylor River headwaters area…

CB Avalanche Center

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Kebler Pass corridor

Date of Observation: 03/05/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Snowmobile journey to Beckwith Pass and up into Evan’s Basin on Mount Emmons. Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West Elevation: 8,900′ – 11,200′   Avalanches: Observed loose snow avalanches on sunny slopes near and above treeline, generally coming from warm, rocky terrain features. Up to D1.5 in size. Overall significantly less activity than I expected to find. See photos for examples. Observed one natural run on alpine SE slope at 1:30 pm. Weather: Clear skies, light winds, and warm temperatures above freezing. Snowpack: Around 7″ storm snow on top of Kebler Pass and Beckwith Pass.  5″ on lower flanks of Mount Emmons. I targeted a shaded slope in a shallower…

CBAC

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So Good While It Lasted

Date of Observation: 03/05/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: P-Divide Elevation: 9,000-11,800ft Avalanches: Wet loose avalanches happened, but no widespread and all on the small size. Some east, some south, some west, they all had a little action. Weather: Calm winds, warm temps, clear sky, beautiful. Snowpack: Well, that snow sure was good while it lasted! Lots of now crusty snow surfaces heading into tomorrow, until they warm back up again… The recent snow seemed to just bake in, more than release as wet loose avalanches. Hard saying just how reactive it will be on the next warm-up after today. We slammed a whole lot of terrain features, many in the upper 30 degrees, and didn’t find any signs of instability…

CBAC

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Elk Crest obs

Date of Observation: 03/01/2021 to 3/05/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Elk Crest near Friends, Lindley, and Opa Huts. Aspect: Various Elevation: 10,000 – 13,200   Avalanches: -2 small wind slabs ran naturally on Thursday near Taylor Pass -2 large wet slabs ran naturally, likely on Wednesday, on a SE bowl of Leahy Peak (on the Aspen side of the divide). They failed near the ground, probably triggered by water draining into basal weak layers near rock outcrops. The debris looked fairly wet, I suspect the slabs were a mix of dry midpack, wet on the surface. -1 recent persistent slab on Carbonate Hill, triggered by a cornice fall, likely during the warmup on Tuesday or Wednesday -1 small loose…

CBAC

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Weekly Snowpack, Weather, and Avalanche Summary 3/5/21

Date of Observation: 03/05/2021 Author: Jack Caprio Zone: Crested Butte Backcountry Spring break is upon us. Temperatures are climbing and our snowpack has begun the annual springtime transition. See all the recent action here.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Hot as Tomales

Date of Observation: 03/05/2021 Name: Jared Berman, Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites Aspect: North, North East, South East, South Elevation: 10,000′- 11,500′   Avalanches: From a distance, we could see several small loose wet avalanches initiating below rock bands on steep east and southeast facing terrain in Elk Basin and Evans Basin near treeline. In the Anthracites, one D1.5 natural loose wet was observed below treeline on a southeast slope while another was intentionally triggered on a south facing slope. Both ran into the basin locally known as the Playground (see photos below). Weather: Clear skies, calm winds, and above freezing temperatures. Snowpack: Drastically variable snowpack depending on aspect below treeline and near today. On north and northeast…

CB Avalanche Center

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Matching obs to forecast problem 1 today.

Date of Observation: 03/05/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Washington Gulch-Coneys Aspect: North East, East Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: photo 1. wet loose avalanches the NW zone observed on Schuylkill ridgelines. SE aspect ATL and BTL. photo 2. natural D1 slab (persistent slab (?) avalanche below rock band entrance to Wolverine Bowl). NE aspect at NTL.-maybe captured in earlier obs. no photo: on drive into town, I observed a D1 slab on E/SE aspect in Red Coon Bowl BTL.-maybe captured in earlier obs. Weather: in the open, it was a sauna with high UV’s from the high albedo. calm. few clouds heat relief relief in the trees. Snowpack: 2 to 4 inches of recent snowfall. on lee side of the…

CB Avalanche Center

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Nice Little Refresh

Date of Observation: 03/04/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Washington Gulch Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West Elevation: 9,400-11,400 Weather: Good Pulse of snow in the morning, then waited most of the day for things to pick back up. Headed out in the late afternoon. Periods of heavy snowfall. Mostly calm winds with some strong gusts. Snowpack: A couple of inches of new snow near the Washington Gulch Trailhead, and about 5 inches of new snow near the head of Washington Gulch. In the alpine there may have been a little drifting and some slab formation, otherwise where I traveled the new snow didn’t make any change. Small sluffs on steep northerly-facing slopes would be about it. I didn’t…

CB Avalanche Center

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Fresh Cornice Fall

Date of Observation: 03/03/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Avalanches: (Info from an InReach Text) 2 fresh looking wet slabs SE ATL off Leahy Peak. (Aspen side). Hot rocky bowl. Probably today or yesterday. D2 to D2.5. Robbins saw a recent PSa triggered by cornice fall on Carbonate.…

CBAC

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Several Loose Wet Avalanches

Date of Observation: 03/03/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Angle Pass Aspect: North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,700-12,000 Avalanches: Several loose wet avalanches. A few old ones and some that ran today. Not widespread and mostly D1 in size with a couple D1.5s. SE, S, SW aspects had the majority of the activity. Weather: A light breeze at 12,000ft, otherwise no winds. Hot… my face hurts. Snowpack: We didn’t end up having to manage any wet avalanche concerns. Between 10am and 12:30pm we traveled on south and southeast slopes up to 11,800. The upper 3 to 5cm of the snowpack was wet, while the snow below remained dry. By the time we traveled back through similar terrain the surfaces…

CBAC

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Gothic Wet Slide

Date of Observation: 03/03/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: South face of Gothic Mtn. Aspect: South Elevation: 12,000-11,000 Avalanches: Skier triggered shallow, slow moving, long running wet slide running on a hard crust 12 inches deep. Weather: Sunny with little to no wind. Temps reaching upper 30’sF.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Wet n’ Wild

Date of Observation: 03/03/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Beckwith Pass Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 10k-11k Avalanches: Older D.5-D1 loose wet avalanches on E and SE aspects which likely ran over last couple days. We did not stick around long enough to see any new activity. Weather: Bluebird and very warm. Snowpack: Steep, east facing snow surfaces were noticeably moist at 10,200k at 9:00 am. Around 10 am on south facing slopes at 11k, the surface crusts just barely still supported the weight of a skier, and we’re beginning to soften up quickly. We ended up skiing NE facing slopes which stayed dry.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Sand Box

Date of Observation: 03/02/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Slopes near CB Aspect: North East Elevation: 8,900-9,500 Weather: Blue bird and sunny. Snow surfaces stayed cold where we traveled. Snowpack: The sandbox is trying to come back, but thankfully it’s just the surface snow for now. The top 20cm of the snowpack was faceted and weak. That made for some nice soft turns, slippery skinning, and fuel for small loose snow avalanches. We were hunting for a below treeline, NE facing snowpack, with a total snowpack height in the 100-120cm range. That’s just what we found and the end goal was to get more data about the current persistent slab problem. The PSa structure across an individual slope was variable. Sometimes…

CB Avalanche Center

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Skier triggered slides on snodgrass

Date of Observation: 03/02/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: 3rd Bowl Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,800 Avalanches: Triggered a couple small sloughs and a small slab approximately 15 ft wide 8” deep crown in the more northerly trees knocking over a skier. Weather: Pretty rapid warming through the morning…

CB Avalanche Center

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Coneys

Date of Observation: 03/02/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Coneys nose Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,800 Avalanches: Small loose snow sluff avalanche right off the top. 15 cm deep on 33 degree slope. 40’ wide by 80 feet long. Weather: Clear with a light westerly breeze. Temp was in the 20’s Snowpack: 70-80 cm total height of snowpack. Fist on top with a density change in the mid pack to fist+ then large grain facets at the bottom. The surface facets slid on the density change. Fairly predictable.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Anthracite Mesa near Washington Gulch TH

Date of Observation: 03/01/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Aspect: North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,400′ – 10,600′   Avalanches: nothing new observed Weather: Clear skies, moderate temperatures, and light winds. Snowpack: Traveled through an area that has a snowpack depth near the median for the Crested Butte area – not as deep as areas further west/north and not as shallow as terrain further east. Snow surfaces on the south half of the compass became moist by early afternoon, but no wet snow concerns developed in this area. Melt/freeze crusts 4 to 6cm thick on sunny features, but still slightly soft not fully supporting skis without breaking. Ice columns from warm period at the end of last week…

CBAC

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Slabs of the Wind

Date of Observation: 02/27/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: East Bowl of Schuylkill Mountain Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,300′ – 11,100′   Avalanches: We intentionally triggered 3 small (D1) wind slabs on skis. Slabs ranged from 3″-6″ deep and were relatively harmless to a person. No recent naturals were observed today. Weather: Weather started off overcast with light winds from the west below treeline. As we traveled clouds broke apart enough to see surrounding terrain and mountains. Moderate winds existed near treeline and we observed active wind transportation from some ridgetops and trees. Snowpack: Persistent slab structure still exists on northeast aspects below treeline, capable of propagating deep failures. A snowpit at 9800′ on a northeast aspect revealed a…

CB Avalanche Center

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War Zone in the SE

Date of Observation: 02/26/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Drainage Aspect: North East, East, South East, South, South West Elevation: 10,300′-12,100′ Avalanches: Everywhere in sight, especially E facing terrain. D1-D2+ on virtually any alpine feature which took on drifting recently, along with some unusual NTL/BTL features which normally wouldn’t be suspect. Most of the recent avalanches we observed today have already been reported, but not all of them. Basically, if you looked below a cornice on a leeward aspect, it went big. Sorry, no pictures. Weather: Windy. Steady and swirling winds, mainly out of the W/SW at 10-20 mph all day. Probably was gusting to 30+ at higher elevations based on the flagging we observed off many of the surrounding…

CB Avalanche Center

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WEEKLY SNOWPACK, WEATHER, AND AVALANCHE SUMMARY 2/26/21

Date: 02/26/2021 Author: Jared Berman, Zach Guy Zone: Crested Butte Backcountry   Strong winds this week have created thick, dense slabs in the upper elevations. Read all about it plus more in this week’s summary.  …

CBAC

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GMT course through Rock Creek

Date of Observation: 02/26/2021 Name: Jack Caprio, Zach Kinler, Jared Berman Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: From Top of the World, we descended rock creek drainage to gothic campground Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,600-11,600 Avalanches: Fresh wind slabs on a cross loaded alpine south aspect above Rustler Gulch (see photo). An older, persistent slab avalanche on an east facing slope about 200 ft. above the east river valley bottom (see photo). Weather: Westerly winds and overcast skies made for a cold sled ride in the morning. As the day went on, the clouds cleared and temps increased making for a very comfortable weather day. Snowpack: We dug below treeline on a NE facing slope a couple…

CBAC

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Keepin it Snoddy

Date of Observation: 02/26/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass Aspect: North East, South East Elevation: 9500 – 11,000′ Avalanches: Shallow facet sluffing in steep terrain Weather: Moderate winds, minimal snow transport. Cool temps. Few clouds. Snowpack: Quick look at snow surfaces below treeline ahead of the next storm. Melt-freeze crusts start on east aspects (1 to 2 cm thick) and get thicker wrapping to due south (at least 8 cm thick). There were small grained facets below the crust, but not above. Northerly tilts have widespread small-grained near-surface facets, and some protected areas have small surface hoar growth. One pit produced propagating results on all of the prominent weak layers in the lower half of the snowpack, but only after…

CBAC

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Mountain Snowpack-Cooperative Snow Survey Program for NRCS

Date of Observation: 02/26/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red Lady Glades and CB Nordic Trail Elevation: BTL Weather: Keystone snow course/Red Lady Glades: obstructed skies and strong winds. colder temperatures before 9AM Crested Butte snow course/CB Nordic Magic Meadows yurt: few clouds and light winds with moderate gusts and warming temperatures between 10 AM and 12PM. Snowpack: Keystone snow course: 2.54 cm (1 inch) melt-freeze crust on the surface. Snow depth ranged between 68 and 112 cm (27 and 44 inches) across 41 meter (135 foot) transect with 5 samples. Crested Butte snow course: depth ranged between 86 and 107 cm (34 and 42 inches) across N to S transect of 122 meters (400 feet) and W to E…

CB Avalanche Center

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Anthracites

Date of Observation: 02/25/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 10k-11.5k Avalanches: 1 D2 slab avalanche on a S facing slope in ‘the playground’ which I believe released due to a cornice chunk falling. A couple small, wet loose avalanches on sunny slopes near rock bands that likely ran over the past couple days of warm weather. Weather: Calm day. Sunny. Comfy temps Snowpack: We mostly traveled on established skin tracks below tree line on N and NE aspects. HS ranged from 160-200 cms. Where I dug, the first concerning weak layer was >120cms below the surface. Snow pit tests produced no results at this site. No collapsing/ cracking all day. Recent…

CBAC

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The basement is still cluttered with junk

Date of Observation: 02/25/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: West side of Ruby Range Aspect: East, South East, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,700 – 11,700′ Avalanches: Nothing recent apart from a handful of very small wet loose sluffs. Plenty of previously undocumented large avalanches from the last widespread cycle (~February 13) at all elevations. We crossed a debris pile that was easily D3+ off of the southwest face of Ruby that only had about 6″ of snow on it, so I’m guessing it ran February 16. See photos. Weather: Light westerly winds, no transport. Few clouds. Snowpack: Targeted below treeline test pits hoping to see evidence that basal weak layers are gaining strength now that they have been buried…

CBAC

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Some good, some bad, all hot

Date of Observation: 02/25/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate Aspect: North East Elevation: ATL-BTL   Avalanches: Couple of wet slides that pulled out as point releases from below rocks on east tilt below treeline just above valley floor. Then all of the other ones documented in the area from a couple of days before. Of note, looked at the one in the palace and the avalanche had roared through some pretty dense trees causing some pause as to what true islands of safety really are. Weather: Good, if you’re into sunny and warm. I prefer cloudy, snowy and cold though. Nuclear (or nucular as Dubyah used to say) in the valley floor. Snowpack: NE aspect most of the way…

CB Avalanche Center

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Upper Cement Creek Drainage

Date of Observation: 02/25/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek drainage to head of valley near Tilton Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,000 – 11,600′   Avalanches: Observed a good number of previously unreported avalanches from the last significant loading event around February 13th or later from wind-loading. Below treeline there were a few natural avalanches on east through north features. Near and above treeline previous avalanche activity was observed on west, northwest, north, northeast, east, southeast, south and southwest aspects. Wind-loading was able to overload weak structures around the compass at upper elevations. Many of these avalanches were in terrain features that were frequent runners, but several of the…

CBAC

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More persistent slab action at Irwin

Date of Observation: 02/24/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Tenure Aspect: South West Elevation: NTL   Avalanches: Explosive triggered another large hard slab failing near the ground on a southwest aspect near treeline. The crown was 2 to 4 feet thick, failing on basal facets. HS-AB-R3-D2.5-O/G. Also a noted a handful of smaller slabs in the Ruby Range that likely ran a few days ago during the wind loading event. They were relatively shallow slabs that broke in very steep, rocky terrain on easterly aspects above treeline (D1.5), likely on old layers as well.  …

CBAC

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RMBL Study Plot 2/24/21

Date of Observation: 02/24/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic…

CB Avalanche Center

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Cement Mountain loop

Date of Observation: 02/23/2021 Name: Jack Caprio and Eric Murrow Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: North Cement Mountain Aspect: North, North East, East, West, North West Elevation: 9,000′-12,200   Avalanches: Observed a number of avalanches on Cement Mountain of varying ages from the past month.  Included images for avalanches that likely failed around the Feb 13/14 time frame.  Most of these avalanches failed on drifted features with two below treeline on non-drifted slopes.  Looking around leeward features in Southeast Mountains did not see any other recent avalanches.  While driving pavement in afternoon, I spotted a couple very small loose avalanche on Gothic Mountain coming out of steep, rocky southerly features. Weather: A cold early morning in the canyon quickly gave way to warm,…

CB Avalanche Center

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Cement Creek

Date of Observation: 02/22/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Middle cement creek Aspect: East Elevation: ~10k’ Avalanches: Small, fresh looking crown on same path that slid across cement creek road a little while back. Photo from Monday afternoon.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Explosive results at Irwin

Date of Observation: 02/22/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Upper Upper Westwall Aspect: West Elevation: NTL Avalanches: Two large explosive triggered persistent slabs Lone Wolf HS-AE-R3-D2-O (80cm x 35m x 375m) Pencil hard slab Castle Valley Right SS-AE-R2-D2-O (90cm x 35m x 360m) Failed on 3-5mm DH Castle Valley Left SS-AB-R1-D1-I (15cm x 20m x 200m) Shallow surface snow…

CBAC

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Gothic Mountain Tour prep observations

Date of Observation: 02/22/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Westerly descent from Elkton Knob down towards Pittsburg Aspect: South West, West Elevation: 9,000′ – 11,200′   Avalanches: One unobserved avalanche off Elkton Knob in a very drifted southwest feature at 11,000′. A relatively small feature but the avalanche failed at the ground with a crown over 4 feet. Hardslab blocks ran further than I would have expected on this feature knocking down a 12′ tree with a 3″ trunk. Given snow refill on top of some tall blocks, I estimate this ran around 13th or 14th. Skiing through the debris blocks would be a challenging and dangerous task. Weather: Clear skies, with light winds, and mild temperatures. Sunny slopes at…

CBAC

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tender is the pack..

Date of Observation: 02/21/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: gothic road at S curve Aspect: South East Elevation: 9550   Avalanches: none Weather: howling & cold all day, heavy transport drifting upslope from NE and loading top of California bowl (transport from the bottom) forming a new ~3ft cornice @ 10,800 on the blunt ridge in a break in the trees Snowpack: 1 medium whumpf in heavily ski tracked conifer forest above weather station plot meadow @ 10,700 Propagation on PST X 2 on Gothic Road SE @ 9550 45/100 END down 70cm Failed on 4mm FC F hard 20cm above ground interface w/ MFCR Knife to 1F slab HS 100cm 40/110 END Same-Same  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Can’t stop the persistent slab train

Date of Observation: 02/22/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Whetstone Aspect: North East, East, South East, South West Elevation: 8800 – 12100′ Avalanches: 3 large to very large persistent slabs in the past 24 hours. See photos. A D3 on the south-facing path of Mt. Bellview ATL (triggered by cornice fall or windslab?) A D2.5 on an east aspect NTL of Whetstone, triggered by windloading. The slide spanned multiple start zones and put large amounts of debris into two separate runouts. We investigated the crown; it failed on the 1/19 crust and quickly stepped down to basal facets, about 18″ to 24″ thick. A D2 on a southwest aspect ATL on WSC peak, appears to be triggered by warming or a…

CBAC

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Natural avalanche on Carbon Peak

Date of Observation: 02/21/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Carbon Peak Aspect: East Elevation: NTL Avalanches: See photo from Carbon Peak, E facing. Looks fresh from the most recent wind loading event.…

CBAC

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Large persistent slab triggered at Irwin

Date of Observation: 02/21/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Aspect: West Elevation: NTL   Avalanches: Field of screams. Single hand shot in a slight gully feature that had been loaded from SW winds left a fractured slope. Fracture ran approx. 100′ and was open to the ground. Tested the slope after w/ a 10# AB resulting in a size 2 HS braking several medium sized trees and running full track. Field of Screams HS-AB-R2-D2-O (50cm x 30m x 350m). The slab was isolated to that feature Remotely triggered wind slab Castle Valley.…

CBAC

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Cement Creek

Date of Observation: 02/21/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Middle Cement Creek area Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: 9,000′ – 11,200′   Avalanches: While out Cement Creek area observed quite a few natural avalanches from last week. Most looked old, from say around the 13th, a couple cross-loaded alpine features on Italian and Hunter Hill may have been more recent. Most slides were D2 with the exception of the previously reported avalanche in the north bowl of Cement Mountain which was closer to D3 in size. I forgot my camera in car so no pictures from cement Creek. While glassing terrain from HWY 135 in the afternoon I spotted two recent large avalanches on south and southwest aspects…

CBAC

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You were hoping the naturals were done? Ha

Date of Observation: 02/21/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: WSC Peak/ Copper Creek Aspect: South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,100 – 12,600′   Avalanches: A couple of new D2 persistent slabs that looked fresh and likely ran in the past 12 hours from windloading, one BTL, and one NTL. Another one that looked a couple days old NTL. And a handful of previously undocumented big dawgs that likely ran during the main event around 2/13, give or take a day. See photos for details. Ski triggered a few harmless wind slabs, 4-6″ thick. Weather: Partly cloudy overhead and mostly cloudy over the Northwest Mountains. Moderate northwest winds with strong gusts. We observed generally light snow transport below treeline,…

CBAC

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Snodgrass/Gothic

Date of Observation: 02/22/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass/Gothic Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,500-10,500 Avalanches: One looks like a natural release today, crown maybe 100′ long, east and below California bowl, D2. One or two (might have all happened at once in 2nd bowl, combined width 500′ or so, ran 700-800 feet. One on lower East of Gothic.   CBAC Note: Some of these may have run earlier in the cycle (ob A, ob B).  Hard to keep track of all the crowns on Snodgrass. Weather: Sunny Snowpack: Some wind and sun crust, mostly soft.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Anthracite Mesa-Coneys

Date of Observation: 02/21/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Washington Gulch-Coneys Aspect: North East, East Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: From Coney’s ridge line observed an avalanche on Schuylkill. Appears to be a a wind slab with a D2 on damage scale. NTL on East aspect. photo attached and didn’t see it any photos from 2/13-2/15. Maybe this occurred between 2/19-2/21.   CBAC note: this slide was first observed 2/15, but documented from a poor vantage point. Weather: Moderate winds with strong gusts. Lots of blowing snow especially in the valley bottom. See dune photo. Negligible snow was being transported along the ridge line. Snowpack: Measured snowpack in an open area below the trees down gradient of first bowl: snow depth ranged…

CB Avalanche Center

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Washington Gulch Avalanches

Date of Observation: 02/20/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Washington Gulch near Elkton Aspect: South, West Elevation: 10,400-10,600   Avalanches: Wind loaded, fresh slides on Friday? West Side of Gothic Mtn. Photo does not show very well. South Side of hill above Mosquito Hut.  CBAC Note:  These slides were first observed 2/14. Weather: Saturday 9:30am, sunny, calm 20F Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Elkton Avalanches

Date of Observation: 02/20/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracite Mesa at Elkton Aspect: East Elevation: 11,000′   Avalanches: 2 fresh avalanches (Friday?), entire hill sides and 1 smaller older slide  CBAC Note:  These slides were first reported 2/14. Weather: Saturday morning 9:30am Sunny, 20F, calm Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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kebler corridor obs

Date of Observation: 02/21/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Axtell skin track & kebler road Aspect: North, South Elevation: N 10,400 & S 9,500 Avalanches: none Snowpack: We skied axtell skin track today…. avy course;chose site to demonstrate the difference between tree bomb influence of PWL’s in snowpack BTL and “open glades” where there is little effect from the canopy. Pit #1: @10,400 due N @ 360* in a 20mx20m opening in the tight mature forest: 2 x ECTP (22 & 28) SC (informal, cleared off the top 25cm of F fluff b/c HS is 145cm) failed 25cm above the ground/120cm down on 4-5mm FC. Slab is 4F & 1F+ Pit #2 5m away from pit #1: ECTX (presumably heavily influenced…

CB Avalanche Center

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Cement Creek Snow

Date of Observation: 02/21/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Ranch Elevation: 9250’ Weather: <1” of new snow overnight.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Cruising on Axtell

Date of Observation: 02/20/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Axtell Skin Track Glades Aspect: North Elevation: 10,050   Avalanches: Weather: Mostly Sunny, West winds building, Warm-Hot in the sun, Cold in the shade. Snowpack: 2 dig sites, 20 ft apart. Site 1 open relatively open glades, Site 2 tuckered in near tighter trees. Site 1 HS 140cm, ECTP H Site 2 HS 90cm, ECT N Visually different basal layers, tree bomb compression/distrubance? (peppered as shown in photo from nearby, +/- 100m from dig)  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Elk Basin/ Scarp Ridge

Date of Observation: 02/19/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Scarp ridge/Indy Basin/Elk Basin/Mount Emmons Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West Elevation: 9,000-12,400   Avalanches: SS-N-R2-D2-O. Natural Persistent slab avalanche failing within last 24hrs on SE facing, heavily windloaded slope aet 12,000ft. Looked to have failed initally from cornice or additional windloading on 2/3 layer then quickly stepping down to rock on steep faceted slope. Debris ran far and entrained surprising amount of debris. Weather: Cold. Blustery WNW winds 10-20 G40. Overcast. no new snow accumulation, minimal solar radiation. Snowpack: Below and near treeline slopes ranged from 120-150cm+ in terrain traveled. Above treeline snowpack was variable as expected and scoured near ridgetop as per usual. Interesting reverse loading occurring…

CB Avalanche Center

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WSW pocket on Snodgrass, may have been reported, can’t keep up.

Date of Observation: 02/19/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: WSW Snodgrass, open bowl Aspect: South West Elevation: 10700   Avalanches: HS-N-R2D1? ~35deg start zone, running into gully. CBAC note: we believe this is a slide first reported last week. Weather: mild, W winds building on ridges, sun in and out Snowpack: pit ~200′ above crown, HS 130cm, 30cm NS / 70cm 4F-1F slab / 30cm ~3-4mm DH CT28 on DH, ECTN propagated on DH after some spirted extra credit taps  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Beckwith Range avalanche ob

Date of Observation: 02/20/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Mt Emmons Aspect: East, South East Elevation: ATL, BTL, NTL   Avalanches: Photo from south ridge of Mt. Emmons facing west towards Kebler pass. This modified photo shows an avalanche in Beckwith Range which may have been captured in the blitzkrieg of avalanche observations the past 2 weeks. Looks like D1/1.5 from afar. Weather: Excellent visibility today with some cloud cover BTL: light winds and hot. no jacket or gloves. NTL/ATL: moderate winds with gusts transporting snow into the bowl via cross-loading pattern. Loading didn’t seem to be significant during my tour. Colder temperatures ATL: puffy and winter gloves. Snowpack: Red Lady Glades: BTL-heavier moisture laden snow which was like skiing wet…

CB Avalanche Center

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South face of red lady bowl

Date of Observation: 02/20/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red lady bowl below red coon ridge Aspect: South Elevation: 12000   Avalanches: Saw it from the skin track, looks like it started from the ridge Weather: Calm wind, 14 degrees, partly cloudy Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Elkton Hills

Date of Observation: 02/19/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Elkton Hills Aspect: South East, South, South West Elevation: 9,400′ – 11,200′   Avalanches: While on pavement observed a small, fresh Wind Slab in Red Lady Bowl and a large avalanche above treeline on SE slope of Timbered Hill. Weather: Partly cloudy to mostly cloudy skies along Ruby Range with a few snowflakes and generally light winds below treeline. Snow transport observed above treeline throughout the day. Snowpack: Traveled across some sunny slopes between 10k and 11.2K. No signs of instability observed with supportive snowpack to skis and boots. Dug a couple of test profiles on southerly slopes in the area (see photos). Test results suggested stubborn or ‘hard to trigger’…

CBAC

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Noisy snowpack but without result

Date of Observation: 02/18/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Slopes below Gothic Rd above East River Valley Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9400′ – 9800′   Avalanches: Weather: Partly cloudy, cool temps, and light winds below treeline. Snowpack: Moved through an area with shallower snow depths – generally around 90 – 120cm. Many slopes in this area ran naturally around 2/13. Slab thickness in this area was around 60 to 90cm. Ski penetration was around 6″. We experienced a good number of collapses…some by jumping, others just walking about. Some collapses may have traveled a couple of hundred feet producing cracks in one instance. Several collapses occurred immediately above steep northeasterly-facing slopes without cracking or avalanching on slopes below.…

CBAC

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Fresh avalanche on Avery

Date of Observation: 02/18/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Avery diamond Aspect: South West Elevation: above treeline   Avalanches: Fresh avalanche observed on Avery Diamond Weather: Snowpack:  …

CBAC

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Pockets the Clown

Date of Observation: 02/18/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate Aspect: North East, South West, West Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: Two pockets pulled out across the valley that I did not see earlier. None seen near, around or above us except for some small surface stuffs. Weather: awesome Snowpack: I did not dig, probe or prod so I cannot say. Punched through the “midpack” on one old man air onto short 38-degree pitch did not propagate anything. Ski pen 8-10 inches when skiing.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Repeat offender

Date of Observation: 02/17/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: RLG Aspect: North, South East Elevation: 9800-11800 Avalanches: Looks the the “Spade” on the north side of Whetstone ran again Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. See photo. Weather: Sunny am with increasing clouds and overcast by noon. Warm-ish with minimal wind Snowpack: Dry, supportive, fun! Seems like we have developed a snowpack finally. Still variable but mostly supportive to skis. No collapsing or crack while on the established skin track. Hints of a sun crust on SE-S facing slopes but mostly cold, dry snow.…

CB Avalanche Center

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NW Mountains Avy Photos

Date of Observation: 02/17/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate River Elevation: 9,000-12,000 Avalanches: There were two notable avalanche events from the last 24 hours. A pair of deep and wide propagating avalanches, above treeline, on an E-SE facing ridge of Treasury Mountain. Call it a couple of D3’s. The other avalanche in the last 24hr was a soft slab avalanche, NE facing terrain, above treeline, off scarps ridge, D2. These avalanches probably release yesterday evening during the period of increased winds. Otherwise, there are loads of D2-D3 avalanches. The noticeable ones would have all released roughly between 2/12 and 2/14. We’ll just round it to Saturday 2/13 and lump them into last weekend’s natural avalanche cycle. These were all persistent…

CBAC

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 02/17/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Very light, dense off and on snow Wednesday and into the night before clearing and much colder. There was 1½” new snow with SWE of 0.14″. Snowpack continues to settle and is at 52½”. Currently clear and with with the high 28F, the low -10 and current -09. Wind is calm. The snow is setting up faster now.…

CBAC

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West Side Gothic Avalanches

Date of Observation: 02/16/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys with visibilitiy to surrounding backcountry Aspect: North East, East, South West, West Elevation: 9000-11,200 Avalanches: Fresh D2+ avalanche west facing Gothic. Impressive propagation and crown depth zig zagging into treed terrain and skipping over terrain features. Debris ran long into runout, though not to historic trim lines. Looked to have failed as a storm slab or windslab above treeline and propagated horizontally at near treeline elevation. Observed a number of other D2 sized pockets in obscure undulating terrain near rock Creek and Elkton, though visbility was poor enough to prevent good photos. These smaller slides (<5) failed on south to southeast facing terrain BTL. Also, observed D2+ avalanches on NW facing…

CB Avalanche Center

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Deer Creek

Date of Observation: 02/16/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Deer Creek Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: 9,000-10,600 Avalanches: Whetstone Mountain had a fresh large avalanche on the flank of the M Face. ENE aspect at 11,400ft. Wind-loading off the ridge likely added the extra load for this avalanche to release today. 2 notable avalanches in the Deer Creek area that haven’t yet been reported. These both ran around last Friday/Saturday. They both released on weak faceted snow about 40cm’s off the ground. Small PSa on an East Aspect at 10,400ft. A large PSa on a NE aspect at 10,500ft. That large PSa had a crown height of 6 feet or 2 meters!! Of course it has some extra wind-loading…

CBAC

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 02/16/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Weather: Dry Monday until a couple hours after dark. It snowed much of the night but very lightly with only 2″ new and water 0.17″. Snowpack is at 54½” deep. Currently obscured with a very light but dense snow (maybe an inch of snow all day at this rate) and wind is calm. Cool yesterday with the high 19F and low and current 10F.…

CBAC

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The Great Wall Of Crowns

Date of Observation: 02/15/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Schuylkill Ridge Aspect: North East Elevation: 9,000-11,400 Avalanches: Not too much to add to the previously documented avalanches. The North Bowl of Peeler Peak had a wide propagating and very large avalanche that wasn’t reported. This avalanche was similar to the previously reported avalanche on the East Bowl of Peeler. Both of those crowns propagated through multiple aspects. The other unreported avalanche was rather fresh looking. It was located at 11,000ft on a west aspect of Anthracite Mesa. Of other particular note: There were 3 very large avalanches on Skooks that were first observed on Saturday Morning 2/13. These avalanches were estimated to have run during Friday/Saturday morning increased winds, and before…

CBAC

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Cement Mtn Snow/Slides

Date of Observation: 02/15/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Mtn Aspect: North, West, North West Elevation: 9200-10000 Avalanches: Big north bowl on Cement Mtn (horse basin) looks to have slid before or during the last storm, maybe wall to wall. Could see outline of crowns beneath new snow (no good picture). Wasn’t high enough to see far lookers right of bowl, the east/northeast facing slopes, but everything lookers left of that went. Weather: Sunny and clear overhead, but looked cloudy everywhere else around. Cold in the wind. Warm in the sun. Snowpack: Trapdoors in the valley bottom. Largely supportive above 9400′, but you can usually punch through if you jump on it. True northern facing and shady stuff is still…

CB Avalanche Center

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Avalanche this morning off of Gibson

Date of Observation: 02/15/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gibson Ridge Aspect: North East Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: Gibson Ridge lookers right (Zone D) ran this morning, just the lower part of the track.  …

CBAC

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BTL north east

Date of Observation: 02/16/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Above Baxter gulch summer trail Aspect: North East Elevation: 9000ish   Avalanches: 2 large PSlabs  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Sunny side down

Date of Observation: 02/14/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: North and West of CB Location: Obs from town looking north towards Paradise Divide Aspect: South East, South, South West Elevation: Near/Above Tree line Avalanches: Observed several large to very large avalanches on the sunny side of the compass from town yesterday afternoon. These slides were on S and SE aspects near and above tree line and looked to have run sometime late Friday or early Sat as crowns have been filled back in a bit.  …

CBAC

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Snodgrass avalanches

Date of Observation: 02/14/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass and SE face of Gothic Aspect: North East, South East Elevation: N/BTL Avalanches: Several fresh, wide avalanches on Snodgrass spotted this morning. Observed a large natural run off the SE face of Gothic this afternoon at 3:24 p.m.…

CBAC

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Washington Gulch Avalanches

Date of Observation: 02/14/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Washington Gulch Avalanches: A lot of avalanches out Washington Gulch. Mostly near treeline. I think crowns were 6 to 8 feet thick? Looked big next to trees. Several of the slides appeared today, maybe ran naturally or triggered by sleds romping around.  …

CBAC

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Carnage seen from Coon

Date of Observation: 02/14/2021 Name: Jared Berman, Eric Murrow   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Pony Tail Glades /Coon Basin Aspect: East, South Elevation: 9200′-12,000′   Avalanches: Eight large to very large avalanches observed on mostly alpine terrain on south, southeast, west, northwest, and north aspects. See photos below. Weather: Overcast skies that later cleared by late afternoon. Light winds from the NW at 12,000ft. No snow transportation observed at ridgetops. Snowpack: New storm snow since Wednesday ranged from 8″ below treeline to 24″ near and above treeline. Although winds were calm last night, above treeline we could see pillows of previously wind drifted snow below ridgelines on easterly facing terrain. No cracking or collapsing was observed on any aspect we traveled…

CBAC

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Slide Peeping

Date of Observation: 02/14/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: BTL/NTL   Avalanches: Slab avalanche in West Side of Snodgrass, ran sometime between 0900-1200 on 2/14, same slide pictured in Briebart’s ob. Shallow storm slab on West Side of Gothic (pictured) Persistent slab x2 in SE bowl of Elkton Knob (pictured) Observed a very large crown just below ridgetop on SE/E aspect of Quigley Basin on Baldy, only photo I could get looked like garbage. Weather: OVC with a couple brief periods of sun before 1200, then clearing in the afternoon. Winds were calm but starting to be light and blowing up Wash Gulch. Afternoon/early evening winds appear to increase dramatically up high. Snowpack:…

CB Avalanche Center

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Persistent slab sampler platter

Date of Observation: 02/14/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Various BTL locations near the fringes of Crested Butte Avalanches: Widespread persistent slab activity from the Friday night to Saturday night cycle. Fairly decent D1.5 to D2 cycle below treeline, mostly on the eastern quadrant. The most widespread activity was on the northern part of the valley (Wash Gulch to Snodgrass), while the below treeline slopes near and south of town remained mostly intact, with a few exceptions. Above treeline activity spanned the whole compass, quite a bit more windward aspects this time around. I suspect that’s because this storm came with much less wind towards the latter half. Didn’t get good views of easterly aspects above treeline today because alpine…

CBAC

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Washington Gulch-Coneys

Date of Observation: 02/14/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Washington Gulch-Coneys Aspect: Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: On the skin out today, I observed a D1/D0.5 avalanche on the north ridge of Snodgrass Mountain in Washington Gulch: BTL on W/ SW aspect in a drainage. Poor visibility on 2/13/21 prevented me from observing this avalanche. It likely failed 2/12-2/13 but I am uncertain. Weather: calm. mostly obstructed skies. patchy S-1/S1 snowfall with no snow loading. Snowpack: 2 to 4 inches of new snow in skin track. HS at one ridge top location was 155 cm. Same as yesterday, no cracking, collapsing, or whumping on/off skin track. Same plan as yesterday.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Cement Creek Snow

Date of Observation: 02/14/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Ranch Aspect: Elevation: 9250′   Avalanches: Weather: Snow fall quit by mid morning Sunday. ~10″ of new snow since Friday afternoon/evening. That might include some of the snow that fell later in the day on Friday, but most is from Saturday/Saturday night. Snowpack: As of Friday, the new snow from middle of last week had been blown into 1F-4F windslabs in the valley bottoms. The ones I found were 4-8″ thick. Found a very thin (<1cm) sun crust on some aspects and in the flats just below newer snow (maybe from thursday?). HS in flats is about 2-3 feet, though deeper in wind pockets, shallower where wind scoured. Snow…

CB Avalanche Center

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Road Above Death Pass

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Road above Death Pass Aspect: East, South Elevation: 9,500   Avalanches: We decided to avoid Death Pass, due to recent snow fall and multiple avalanche sightings returning from Friend’s Hut. Cornice Drop and Slab Avalanches around entire curve, as well as below the road. We caused cracking and set off a smaller slab avalanche below the road from 50-100′ away. Weather: mid 20F, relatively calm. Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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East Brush Creek

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: East Brush Creek Trail to Friend’s Hut just above the 3rd Creek Crossing Aspect: East Elevation: 11,400-10,400   Avalanches: Entire hillside (.4miles wide) slide from ridge to and across the creek, crossing the winter trail in one area (100-200yards wide). We came across this at 11am and it only had 1-2″ of fresh on top of it, so it ran Saturday 2/13 around 9am. Weather: At Friend’s Hut it was around 20F with 12″ of fresh powder over night, bringing the total since 2/9 to around 24″. Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Equal opportunity Sat night snow

Date of Observation: 02/14/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Avalanches: Weather: 4” on the semi-official Brush Creek snowstake Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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First light whetstone avalanches

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Whetstone Mountain Aspect: East Avalanches: Around 8am two fresh avalanches were visible. A broad and deep avalanche on drifted near treeline east aspect…lots of ground showing in bed surface- D2.5. Another Persistent slab below treeline on an open east-facing slopes D1.5. Photos:  …

CBAC

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Spooky Quiet

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass East/Northeast line Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9000-11100   Avalanches: No observed, saw evidence of slides from previous day; could only find one trigger point that produced a small collapse. Weather: Low vis, S1 in the morning, moving to S2 by afternoon. No wind. Temperature in the high 20s. Snowpack: About 2-3 feet of snow from the last two weeks at F-F+ hardness, which sat on top of a 2-3 inch P- 1F hard layer, which sat on about at least a foot of large grained facets.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Piling up

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracite Mesa Aspect: South West, West Elevation: 9500 – 11200′   Avalanches: Limited visibility but we spotted a handful of natural slab avalanches that ran in the past 24 hours. A number of D1 to D2s below treeline (most appeared to be persistent slabs). Several larger ones off of Schuykill Ridge, I believe at least one more D3 that snapped trees and hit the valley floor from the “Great Wide Open”. Light was too flat to see crown but debris looked fresh. Weather: Snowfall started around noon – moderate to heavy (S2 to S5) throughout the rest of the day. About 4″ or 5″ of accumulation by sunset. Light ridgetop winds…

CBAC

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Cement Creek

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Road Aspect: South East   Avalanches: Toured out Cement Creek road. D2 avalanche ran from ridge and stopped just after crossing road. Some broken trees. Ran 1500 ft? Road is passable over debris. Weather: Snow and blowing snow.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Washington Gulch-Coneys

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Washington Gulch-Coneys Aspect: North East, East Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: Observed at least 4 distinct avalanches ranging in D0.5 to D2 between Meridian Lake and the Long Lake T.H. See pictures. These are natural avalanches that appear to have triggered between 02/12/21 and 02/13/21. The one closest to Meridian Lakes appears to have failed on basal facets. Weather: Obscured skies and light winds at all elevations. S2 to S3 snowfall. At the car, visibility was minimal and could not see avalanches observed from the road at 10:15 AM. Snowpack: Ski pen off the skin track in an open are 1/2 the way up was about 12 inches. Underneath new snow, felt…

CB Avalanche Center

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Avalanches above Gothic

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Peak Aspect: East Elevation: N/BTL   Avalanches: About 10 fresh avalanches off of Gothic Peak visible on billy barr’s webcam this morning. They look like persistent slabs, D2+ in size. Comments from caretakers in Gothic:  “They all made it down to where the terrain flattens out. Some of them broke trees.  Also a big section of the E Face ran to bare ground”…

CBAC

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Gothic 7 a.m.

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Snowpack: Steady snow through Friday morning with 4½’ by mid day when snow stopped until just after dark, then steady all night until near 4 a.m. Some afternoon wind moved snow around as well. The 24 hour snow total was 11″ new with 1.01″ of water as the snowpack has reached 52″ deep. Temp. held mild with a high of 29F and this morning’s low and current of 20F. Currently overcast with a light W wind and a few flakes just starting to fall. Conditions are very unstable (and after 4 weeks now of cloudy weather, wouldn’t you be as well?). billy  …

CBAC

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A few naturals seen from Gothic

Date of Observation: 02/13/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Aspect: North East, East Avalanches: A few naturals ran during last nights snow propagating widely  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Crested Butte snowpack structure

Date of Observation: 02/12/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Zone A and Zone C paths near downtown Crested Butte Aspect: East, North West Elevation: 9,000′ Snowpack: Looked at two snowpits to observe snowpack structure adjacent to municipal start zones. Both showed unstable structures with moderate propagating results below 45 to 70 cm slabs. Pit 1 was dug on the west end of Elk Ave (Zone A) Pit 2 was dug on the west end of Red Lady Ave (Zone C) See snow profiles in photos.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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WEEKLY SNOWPACK, WEATHER, AND AVALANCHE SUMMARY 2/12/21

Date: 02/12/2021 Author: Jared Berman Zone: Crested Butte Backcountry     AVALANCHES, AVALANCHES, AVALANCHES! Our snowpack is getting deep and avalanches are becoming large! This week our zone has seen the most impressive avalanche cycle of the season. Check out the weekly snowpack summary to learn all about it.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Someone shook the snow globe

Date of Observation: 02/12/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 10,000′-11,400′ Avalanches: No new avalanches observed, no vis of the surrounding terrain. Weather: Cloudy, dumping snow for most of the tour, S5 average. Winds were calm to light in sheltered terrain increasing early afternoon with moderate gusts near tree line. Temps felt perfect for making snow. Snowpack: 5″ on the skin track in the morning around 10:00 and 6″ when we returned at 14:30. 11″ HST and still going!. Small sluffs on the first couple runs turned into more storm slab type instabilities(upper 6″ of new snow) by the last run as increasing winds and snow density gave some “slabby-ness” to the newest…

CBAC

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Just a bit breezy :(

Date of Observation: 02/12/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Evans Basion, Mt Emmons Aspect: East, Southeast, South, Southwest Elevation: 9,300-12,300 Avalanches: A few small sluffs out of steep terrain, otherwise mostly poor visibility. Weather: Near and above treeline were just nasty of course. Lots of snow transport and westerly winds strong enough to make you stumble. Measured about 7″ of new snow early afternoon at 10,500ft. Snowpack: Other than small test slopes, I didn’t travel in avalanche terrain. Traveled through all the elevation bands, but didn’t spend much time up high due to the wind and weather of course. Below treeline, I got on a number of steep test slopes without results. I think the new snow in those areas wasn’t doing…

CBAC

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Touchy wind/storm slabs at Irwin

Date of Observation: 02/12/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Tenure Avalanches: Near and ATL new Storm/Wind Slab trended Reactive to Touchy with increasing fracture length through the day, approaching D2 by the late PM. Weather: HST: 8″/.65″ with mod/heavy transporting SW-WSW wind. Snowpack: New snow is a bit upside down with 5″ of 10% on top of 3″ of 5%.  …

CBAC

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Rumbling collapses and remote triggering in Upper Cement

Date of Observation: 02/12/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Upper Cement Aspect: East, South East Elevation: BTL :9700 – 10900′   Avalanches: From 75 feet away, we remotely triggered a persistent slab that failed on depth hoar near the ground, about 2.5′ thick. The avalanche was small in size (D1) because it was on a small terrain feature. See photo. Weather: Calm winds where we traveled, audible evidence of stronger winds aloft. Very light snowfall with a few, shortlived moderate pulses. About 2″ storm total. Snowpack: Traveled to the shallowest part of our forecast area and found the depth hoar layer about 50 to 80 cm down, (12/10 layer) is very sensitive to human triggering. We experienced large, rumbling collapses…

CBAC

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 02/12/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Mountain Weather: There was no snow from sunrise yesterday until around 4 a.m. this morning when it started moderately. New snow so far of 3½” nd water content 0.24″ as the snowpack reaches 45″. Currently obscured cloud cover with moderate snow and no wind. Mild weather holds with the high 33F, low 18F and current 21F. I did hear a slide run off of Gothic but that straight face runs regularly and is not really much of an indicator. Unless you are right under it. Which I discourage. Therefore there is a high hazard for fools.…

CBAC

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Gothic Avalanche

Date of Observation: 02/11/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Mountain Aspect: South East Elevation: ATL Avalanches: Natural Avalanche around 2/11. (CBAC Note: Best estimate from these photos is that a wind-loaded slab released near ridgelines and further stepped down into a persistent slab avalanche below the cliffs. This avalanche appears to be large to very large in size.)…

CBAC

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It looks like Winter

Date of Observation: 02/11/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 10,000′-11,400′ Avalanches: One small Wind Slab in Red Lady Bowl, east aspect off the lookers left ridge. Weather: Mostly cloudy, cool west breeze at ridgetop. Minimal snow transport near tree line but winds were moving snow in alpine terrain along the Ruby Range and Scarps Ridge. Snowpack: Nice to have to use a probe to find the bottom of the snowpack instead of a ski pole or my hand! The 2/3 interface was 70 cm deep and easy to identify by the graupel layer however stability tests revealed small facets a few centimeters below the graupel. There were 2 Surface Hoar layers…

CB Avalanche Center

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Schuylkill

Date of Observation: 02/11/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Aspect: North East Avalanches: That old crown in runaway was 4+ easily. That thing was seriously impressive and a huge eye opener. (CBAC Note: That avalanche ran in the evening of the 5th or morning of the 6th, and made it from the top of Schuylkill Ridge to valley bottom.) Snowpack: Lots of new snow on schuylkill. 12-15” easily. Breaking new trail entire way up didn’t feel any signs of instability but super efficient wind loading all day led to sluffs I believe…

CBAC

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Slate River Ob

Date of Observation: 02/11/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Aspect: North East, South East Elevation: 9,000-11,000 Weather: The NE Mountains cloud cover was mostly cloudy, becoming partly cloudy and back to over cast by the afternoon. Ooo fun. Plenty of sun out there to warm and thicken the snow surfaces on sunny slopes. We didn’t have much wind exposure. However those winds were obviously cranking in the alpine and even moving snow down in the open valleys at times. Snowpack: Basically, we ended the day with another BTL tour on NE that continued to highlight the decreased sensitivity of the persistent slab avalanche problem below treeline. Despite what the weak layer is, those weak layers are hiding below a growing and strengthening…

CBAC

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Recent naturals out Washington Gulch

Date of Observation: 02/11/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic and Baldy Aspect: South East, South, South West Elevation: near and above treeline   Avalanches: While binocular-ing from town I spotted a couple recent avalanches. Two avalanches on the southwest side of Gothic on drifted features and another in Rock Creek Bowl of Baldy. See pictures Photos:  …

CBAC

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A few naturals today from wind loading

Date of Observation: 02/11/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mt. Emmons Aspect: East, South East, South Avalanches: Fresh-looking persistent slab in Evans Basin, likely ran today, on a SE aspect ATL, D2. A few small wind slabs above treeline ran today. Also some loose dry and loose wet sluffing. Weather: Spring-like temperatures. Moderate to strong W/NW winds once we emerged above treeline, with periods of strong wind transport. Mostly to partly cloudy skies. Snowpack: Snow surfaces got moist on below treeline southerlies. Easy to produce cracking in wind drifted features, about a foot thick.  …

CBAC

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 02/11/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Light snow yesterday morning, then a pause in the afternoon until more snow towards sunset, then only light snow overnight with the 24 hour total of 4″ new and 0.30″ of water with the overnight snow 6% water while late afternoon was 9%. Currently mostly cloudy and calm as the snowpack reached 44″ deep. Temperature just reached freezing with the morning low 18F and current 20F as the wind stays calm. Since Jan. 17 there have been just 2 days that were clear or partly cloudy all day. Snowpack:…

CBAC

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Slate River Snow

Date of Observation: 02/10/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Pittsburg area Aspect: Elevation: 8,900 – 10,400′   Avalanches: Visibility obscured much of the day. Did observe a couple of small Dry Loose avalanches running in the storm snow near treeline. Weather: Cloudy skies and very light snow from 11 – 3. New snow accumulations of 10″ at 9,400′ near Pittsburg around 3pm. No wind transport at valley bottom, could here the wind from time to time up high, but during periods of vis never observed transport on near treeline ridges.…

CBAC

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Triggered slabs at Irwin

Date of Observation: 02/10/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Tenure Aspect: South East, West Elevation: NTL   Avalanches: Intentionally ski triggered several fresh wind slabs (6” to 16”) thick, small in size (D1 to D1.5) on leeward and crossloaded features near treeline. On west facing terrain, airblasts triggered 2 persistent slabs that broke into older snow layers, 12” to 18”, about D1.5 in size. Weather: Light to moderate snowfall, moderate southwest winds. Snowpack: 6” low density new snow was poorly bonded to previous wind hardened surfaces: shallow sluffing and easily triggered slabs in the new snow where winds were drifting it. Persistent slab structure is thin on windward aspects due to previous wind erosion.   Photos:  …

CBAC

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Gothic 7am weather update

Date of Observation: 02/10/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Townsite Aspect: Elevation: Weather: So, i guess this is what snow looks like. Vaguely familiar. –Moderate snow much of the night (8″) after light snow during the day Tuesday so the 24 hour total is 9″ new with 0.61 water. Snowpack has reached the winters deepest of 42″ (average depth for this date is 49″). There was a pause in the snow an hour ago and now starting up very lightly. Sky is overcast with no wind. Temperature holding overnight between 21 and 22F after a high of 31F on Tuesday. billy…

CBAC

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1″ overnight at Cement Creek Ranch

Date of Observation: 02/10/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Aspect: Elevation: 9250′ Weather: 1″new snow overnight…

CB Avalanche Center

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Snodgrass

Date of Observation: 02/09/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,400-10,500 Weather: Overcast. Very light snow through most of the day. 1″ new. Calm winds Snowpack: Mostly managing the avalanche problem through terrain selection. We skied in the mid to low 30-degree range and avoided higher consequence or more likely areas to trigger. In the end, we didn’t find any obvious signs of instability, confidence was improving, though we didn’t let that change our mindset for the day. For the areas we traveled, I would have higher confidence saying the avalanche problem was not widespread, but I’d have lower confidence in trying to say whether it is isolated or specific in the terrain. The snowpack structure…

CBAC

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A few more recent slides below treeline

Date of Observation: 02/09/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Happy Chutes, East River Aspect: East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: Saw a few more slides below treeline that appeared to have run in the last few days, probably over the weekend. A D1 slab in Happy Chutes and a D2 and D1 on the east side of Mt. Crested Butte.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Eerily Quiet on the Snodgrass Front

Date of Observation: 02/09/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass north side Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,400′ – 11,200′   Avalanches: nothin new observed…visibility obscured much of the day. Weather: Mild temperatures, overcast skies, and light to very light snowfall. 1.5″ new at 4pm. Snowpack: We ascended normal skin track and wandered a bit off the track near northerly features that do not see traffic without signs of instability. Traversed across the top of a handful of north-facing start zones that do not appear to have seen many if any people in the past 4 or so days. The mid-January weak layer is down about 50cm on east and northeasterly aspects between 10 and 11k. Pole probing required…

CBAC

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Very Variable in western Taylor Park

Date of Observation: 02/09/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Taylor Park Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 9400-12100ft.   Avalanches: (I realize Taylor Park is outside of the CBAC forecast area, but figured since it’s close and most easily accessed through our county I’d provide some basic observations, if appropriate). No avalanches observed due to slopes traveled through being less than 30 degrees in pitch, and low visibility preventing us from seeing other surrounding peaks. Multiple small-large collapses in low angle terrain. 2 slab fractures/collapses on wind-loaded convexities, with both slopes in the 28-30 pitch at their steepest, and cracks propagating 30-60 feet. On inspection of the second collapse, 1F hard wind slab appeared to have broken on basal facets. The…

CB Avalanche Center

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RMBL Study Plot 02/09/2021

Date of Observation: 02/09/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic, CO Aspect: Elevation: 9500…

CB Avalanche Center

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Dangerous times ahead

Date of Observation: 02/09/2021…

CBAC

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East side got in on the action

Date of Observation: 02/08/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek viewing into Southeast Mountans Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South Elevation: most of it   Avalanches: A bunch :-) Did not observe any below treeline avalanches but I largely could see near and above treeline terrain across the Southeast Mountains. Most avalanche activity was on drifted northeast through east through southeast slopes. A few looked to be close to D3 in size, most were D2, but I often only saw the crown not the extent of debris. Overall there was less avalanche activity in the Southeast Mountains than the Northwest Mountains and the size was often a bit smaller none the less there were many dangerous avalanches…

CBAC

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Angel ridge and Schuylkill Peak Avalanches

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Seen from Camo trees. Aspect: North, North East Elevation: Atl. 11.5ish   Avalanches: Everywhere on East slopes, with many north and some southeast with start zones generally ATL and running long seemingly due to wind loading being the straw. Most appeared to go to ground in at least some parts of start path and step down. Pictured: D2.5+ schuylkill peak. D2 on angel ridge. Ran long. Almost to creek on both and thru lots of terrain often too flat to ski. Hard to tell height of crown but visible ground underneath crown. Weather: Warm At valley bottom with cold wind As you got into Baxter. Sunny, didn’t see evidence of too…

CB Avalanche Center

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Irwin avalanche activity

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Aspect: South East, South Elevation: NTL Avalanches: Avalanche observations: Sunny Shoulder Right SS-N-R2/D2-O 60cm x 100m x 200m triggered by wind load Premature Evacuation SS-AEr-R1-D1.5-O (60cm x 15m x 65m) Apron Remotely triggered D1.5 from 80′ away Bender SS-AB-R2-D2-O (85cm x 50m x 135m) Sympathetically triggered apron below cliffs.…

CBAC

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Photos and more details from Irwin Burial on Saturday

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Sunny Shoulder on Irwin Tenure Aspect: South Elevation: 11,600 Avalanches: The slope failed when I was more than half way down. I never felt or heard a collapse. The avalanche overtook me at the bottom of the slope. I was buried around a tree with a good air pocket. Partner had me dug out in 6 minutes. Snowpack: Multiple m/f crust facet layers with our latest two storms on top. The slope had seen four 2-pound explosives as well as an 18-pound air blast the day before with no results.  …

CBAC

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Gothic natural on Saturday night

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Aspect: South East Elevation: NTL Avalanches: The bench avalanche path ran during last nights wind, just barely spilling out into maxfield meadow…

CBAC

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The Keebler Elves were cranking

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass, Lily Lake, Irwin Elevation: 9,000′-10,400′   Avalanches: Observed several avalanches with fresh crowns and debris that look to have run in the last 12-24 hrs as well as some that ran late on 2/5 or early 2/6.  Poked around the debris from the Ruby D3+ avalanche. There were numerous broken trees up to 5″ in diameter in the debris field. Weather: Winds picked up in the afternoon and began to pick up a bit more snow. Snow on a few ridgelines was getting blasted into the sky while efficient loading was occurring on Scarp ridge. Moderate winds were making it down valley in open areas below treeline. …

CBAC

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Mt Emmons Avy 1

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mt Emmons Aspect: South East, South Elevation: 9,200-11,700 Weather: Partly cloudy sky, warm temps, winds increasing in the afternoon. At times snow was transporting off the peaks and NTL/ATL ridgelines, though not consistently and fetches were running lower. Snowpack: 2/7. No obvious signs to instability observed. The upper snowpack was becoming thick with warm temps and the sun. In the afternoon the wind started to buff the snow surface and create pockets of stiffer wind board around 11,000ft. We simply used the terrain to manage the avy problems, had some good turns and didn’t go looking for unstable conditions. 2/6. Similar tour as the following tour on 2/6. We spent a bit…

CB Avalanche Center

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Multiple Avalanches from WG

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Avalanches: Top of the world, Rock Creek Basin on Baldy, Anthracite Mesa, Redwell.…

CB Avalanche Center

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At least one large natural this afternoon.

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coney’s and Snodgrass Aspect: North East Elevation: N/BTL   Avalanches: Went up to Coney’s with good visibility mid-day to document more of the activity from the recent cycle. See photos. Spotted one large persistent slab on Scarp Ridge this evening that wasn’t there this morning that went to the ground. Weather: Moderate to strong winds. Large plumes off of Whetstone and continued drifting, albeit less dramatic, off of the high peaks. Snowpack: Traveled mostly on the beaten path but stepping away from skin tracks I got a couple of large collapses below treeline, both at Coney’s and at Snodgrass.  …

CBAC

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Snodgrass Study Plot 2/7/21

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Southeast Mountains Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,300′ below treeline Avalanches: No new avalanches observed. Weather: Few clouds. Temps in high teens and low 20’s. Moderate to strong westerly winds. Noticeable snow transport off neighboring peaks. Snowpack: HS at the study plot was 95 cm. There was a 37 cm slab sitting on top of the 1/19 interface. The slab hardness increased from F to 4f just above the interface. 1/19 interface consists of 2-2.5 mm faceted crystals. Below the 1/19 layer is a mess of various faceted grains which generally grew in size the deeper they were in the snowpack. Snowpit tests resulted in moderate propagating results on the 1/19 layer, and…

CBAC

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Guess what!

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Elk basin area, no name ridge Aspect: South East, South, South West Elevation: 9000-11000   Avalanches: A few D2’s off of primarily southern aspect, solar influenced.   1 ran at ~10am, the others maybe 2 hours after.  2 shaped drainages in the lower reaches slid wall to wall, likely during our last load Weather: Sunny and windy AF Snowpack: Guess what? It’s all facets. 130cm hst, 3 melt freeze crusts 3cm or thinner, about 20cm apart, all facets from about 40cm down. With about 20cm of windbuff on top. Like sour cream on top of a rotten burrito. Tried 2 ects, both failed before fully isolated ;)~ Its going to get better……right????…

CB Avalanche Center

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Lower Slate goes big

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Lower Slate River Aspect: North East Elevation: 9000-10,500′   Avalanches: Most of the Climax chutes ran down to the river. Scarp’s Ridge and Schuykill. Weather: Sunny, 32 F, 10 mph wind Snowpack: Was stable on flat ground  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Roadside Attractions

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Whetstone pictures taken fron CO-135 Aspect: North East Elevation: 9,000   Avalanches: Two recent storm slabs that ran naturally at 9,000ft on NE facing slopes. Weather: Sunny skies, warm temps, and strong winds from the NW. Snowpack: Driving around, I observed active wind loading on easterly terrain features above treeline. Many avalanches observed on Whetstone, most of which have already been reported. I never left the car.  …

CBAC

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Crowns galore: Morning avalanche obs

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains and Southeast Mountains   Avalanches: See photos, numerous D2 to D3 slides near and above treeline. Many of these were first observed yesterday morning, I’m just adding some higher res photos. We didn’t have views of the Ruby Range yesterday so some of these are new observations, although the timing is uncertain. The slide above Axtell’s Green Lake likely ran last night (maybe initiated by cornice fall?) because I didn’t see those crowns yesterday. Will add estimated sizes and aspects later tonight. Weather: Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Dog walk avy obs

Date of Observation: 02/07/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Avalanches: Got views of a few more large avalanches to the north and west of town. The slides on the South aspect of Mineral Point and the ESE aspect of Baldy have crowns that have filled in a bit indicating they likely ran late on 2/5 or early 2/6. The Rock Creek Bowl slide on Baldy’s SE side looks a bit fresher, possibly during the day yesterday or overnight.    …

CBAC

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Carbon

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Carbon Peak North Aspect: North Elevation: 9,200 – 11,200   Avalanches: One large avalanche that broke during the early morning of 2/6 on a steep, cross-loaded, north-facing bowl off Carbon. Seems to have broke within old snow. Weather: Moderate west winds, partly sunny Snowpack: New snow ranged from 12-14″. Widespread collapsing and cracking on north-facing slopes off of Carbon. Slab is soft lower on the face and is where most of the collapsing/cracking occurred. As we moved higher up the face, the slab stiffened and supported the weight of a skier. Around 11,000ft, snowpack height averaged 150cm and surface snow has stiffened due to wind.  Blowing snow was observed from ridgetops all day…

CB Avalanche Center

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Multiple crowns near Baldy

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Near Baldy Aspect: East Elevation: ATL Avalanches: Multiple D2 crowns that ran last night. See photo.  …

CBAC

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Avy 1 Snodgrass (Frontside) Observation Tour

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Front Side of Snodgrass Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 10,000   Avalanches: We saw a D1 slide on an east aspect later in the day. We had toured near it (see photos) earlier in the day, did not see it go at that time but saw the avalanche later in the day. Not sure if we remote triggered the slide or if it happened naturally later in the day. Did see the aspect getting wind loaded later in the day. Weather: Temp: Mid 20’s Wind: light in the area we toured (moderate gusts during our tour) Sky: Partly cloudy Precip: None Snowpack: Pit: Elevation: 10,360 Aspect: East Slope angle: 26 HS:…

CB Avalanche Center

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Lawd help us all – Mt. Axtell changes color from white to brown overnight

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Mt. Axtell Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South Elevation: Near to above treeline Avalanches: Extensive persistent slab activity across the upper bowls of Mt. Axtell. Crowns averaged 4 feet deep breaking on weak layers near the ground. Some of the more impressive propagation across multiple start zones or whole bowls that I’ve seen up there. Debris piles from the two largest slides snapped lots of trees and reached well into valley runouts, D3.5 in size. Bedsurfaces had a few inches of snow on them; the slides ran last night sometime, on N, E, and S aspects. We didn’t observe any more natural activity on Axtell or surrounding terrain today. See…

CBAC

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Avalanche burial and Ruby carnage

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Tenure Avalanches: Patroller capture and full burial on Sunny Shoulder Right (SW@ 11.6k near TL) during AM ski checks. Companion rescue, no injuries. The SS-ASu-R2/D2-O 75cm x 15m x 100m ran on a crust, but not the most recent crust; stepped down lower in the track; and fetched up in the compressions zone producing a debris field ~75m wide and up to 3m deep in spots. The slope was not open, but was being prepared for opening. It received ~30 lbs of explosives (6 shots) yesterday including a 17lb air blast. Also, Ruby ran wall to wall, maybe D3+, probably last night during peak PI or wind. You probably heard.…

CBAC

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Slide near Coneys

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Washington Gulch Aspect: North East Elevation:   Avalanches: Fresh slab avalanche just north of Coneys. Released from convex rollover and ran into gully Weather: Cloudy, windy and temperature around 20 f. Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Coon Basin…again

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coon Basin Avalanches: A third large avalanche released in Coon Basin after a day of continued wind loading. Cleared out what was left above the old crown while breaking at the ground and taking the entire season’s snowpack with it.     [/gravityforms]…

CBAC

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Slate River Carnage

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate River Road Aspect: North, North East, East, South East Elevation: 10,500   Avalanches: A multitude of very large avalanches from Climax back into Poverty Gulch. Some with start zones in the high alpine, and some running from mid-slope. Weather: Short-lived cloud lifting provided good viewing of the full effect of last night’s winds. Snowing on and off throughout the day. Seemed to be more wind transport than accumulation. Snowpack: Kept it low angle, with some cracking observed on more continuous slopes. Got a few collapses on an already broken skin track, as well.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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The Lion Roared

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate Aspect: North, North East Elevation: Treeline to below treeline   Avalanches: Too many to count. From Climax Chutes, all along Schuykill Ridge around the corner to north facing aspects above Daisy Creek. Climax release snapped a tree 2 feet in diameter by the River Flats bathroom and left powder cloud debris on the Slate road (light snow, pine needles and some branches). Releases from the high basin above the town of Pittsburgh from numerous aspects left a considerable amount of debris on a large bench area adjacent to the top of the “rollers.” I’ve included just a few examples of the carnage. Weather: Nice, warming, light snow off and on…

CB Avalanche Center

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SE to NW transition zone goes off

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: SE/NW mountains Avalanches: Many large and widely propagating avalanches were observed during a brief clearing that allowed views of Mt. Emmons, Gothic, Belleview, Schuylkill and Redwell. Leeward aspects in this “transition zone” from our SE mountains to our NW mountains finally tipped with the most recent round of snow and wind. A few of these avalanches propagated entire paths as well as connecting multiple paths at a time. Impressive slides! Weather: Blustery NW flow, 5″ HST in town. Snow and wind gave way to some clear skies around and just west of town allowing for views into the nearby alpine. Photos:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Two broad avalanches on Mt. Emmons

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021 Name: Ben Pritchett Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Red Lady Bowl and Coon Basin Aspect: South East Elevation: ~12,000′ Avalanches: Two SS-N-R3/D2.5-O avalanches 1x SS-N-R3/D2-O, East below treeline Mt Emmons(Red Lady Glades, repeater in the fishbowl)      …

CB Avalanche Center

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5” in the last 24 hours

Date of Observation: 02/06/2021 Name: Cosmo Langsfeld Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Ranch Elevation: 9250’ Snowpack: 5″ in last 24 hours   [/gravityforms]…

CB Avalanche Center

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Tender is the Bush: Below Tree Line Persistent Slab

Date of Observation: 02/05/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Traveled up ridge on west side of West Brush Creek to Point 10,607. Descended East facing glades back down to West Brush Creek. Aspect: East, South East Elevation: 9500′-10600′   Avalanches: Ski triggered one small persistent avalanche remotely on a steep east facing terrain feature well below treeline at 9800′. See photo below.  Light was very flat but we could see several natural D1.5 persistent slabs that likely ran during Wednesday night’s storm below treeline on east aspects. Weather: Overcast skies with temperatures in the 20s and very light snowfall that increased throughout the day. Snowpack: Widespread collapses and shooting cracks on east aspects and flat terrain.  Snowpack is weak and…

CB Avalanche Center

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Short Tour & Few More Avalanches

Date of Observation: 02/04/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Kebler Pass Area Aspect: East, South East, South, South West Elevation: BTL Avalanches: Remotely triggered two avalanches on lower elevation E to SE facing slopes. The first was remotely triggered from a low angled ridgeline and released as a storm slab on the most recent interface. The second was also remotely triggered from a low angled Ridgeline several hundred feet away, that slab released on weak facets at the 1/19 interface. Both avalanches were soft slabs with crowns in the 2 to 2.5-foot range. Weather: Bluebird in the morning, becoming mostly cloudy in the afternoon with light snowfall. I never got up high enough to observe ridgeline winds. Snowpack: Fairly quick afternoon…

CBAC

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Storm slab in Red Lady Glades

Date of Observation: 02/04/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red Lady Glades Aspect: East, South East, South, South West Elevation: 9200′-11,600′ Avalanches: Previously reported persistent slab on East facing ridgeline in Red Lady Bowl. While descending a ridge above a steep convexity in Red Lady Glades, either our group or a prior group remotely triggered a D1 storm slab avalanche. The slide occurred on an ESE facing aspect below treeline. The crown was about 8-10″ and failed on the new snow/ old snow interface. (SS-ASr-R1-D1-I). Weather: Sky conditions varied from scattered to broken throughout our tour. Occasional periods of very light snowfall (S-1). As we gained the ridge near treeline, the wind blew at a moderate speed out…

CBAC

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Cold and quiet

Date of Observation: 02/04/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: It’s a secret stash that no one knows about Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,400 Avalanches: Saw one in the furthest west gully on Gothic and some on N and NE facing steeper shots on Schyukill but viz was somewhat hampered by in and out light. Weather: Lightly snowing off and on some winds from SW that was transporting snow. But I’m no meteorologist. Snowpack: Ski pen 8″, no signs of instability where we were skiing. Seemed like the wet and warm start to the storm pasted into old tracks and then the cold dry snow finish was what we were skiing in. It also seemed like the wind blew up the slope…

CB Avalanche Center

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Remote triggered slide in Red Lady Bowl, and more natural avalanches

Date of Observation: 02/04/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains, views of Northwest Mountains as well Location: Red Lady Aspect: North East Elevation: NTL   Avalanches: Less natural activity than I expected to see after last night’s intense precip.  Good views of Axtell, Emmons, parts of Schuylkill, and parts of the Ruby Range this morning. Photos below show the largest activity that I could see.  The most notable was a very wide avalanche in Elk Creek, which spanned multiple start zones. While heading to ski Red Lady Glades, we remotely triggered a large persistent slab in Red Lady Bowl. We watched a group of 5 skiers descend the bowl around 10 a.m. Once they were clear of the runout, I ventured off…

CBAC

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 02/04/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Strong wind yesterday with snow starting around sunset and ending by midnight, then clearing and cooling. New snow is 7″ with a dense wind driven 0.71″ of water. The snowpack sits at 36½”, just shy of winters deepest. Current clear and 5F after a low of 2F and a high yesterday of 38F. Wind continues but down from yesterday but a lot of snow blowing on ridgetops. So early day sign of avalanche activity.…

CBAC

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Whetstone

Date of Observation: 02/04/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Whetstone Big Bowl Aspect: North East Elevation: 12,500 Avalanches: NE face Big bowl, Large Avalanche D2.5? R2 Weather: Clear morning following large loading event high winds yesterday and significant snowfall…

CB Avalanche Center

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6″ up Cement Creek

Date of Observation: 02/04/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Ranch Elevation: 9250′ Weather: At 9pm there was 3″ at the trailhead and 4″ at the ranch. An additional 2″ fell at the ranch overnight.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Whole Lot Of Wind

Date of Observation: 02/03/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Washington Gulch Aspect: Elevation: 9,000-11,300ft Avalanches: Triggered 1 small persistent slab on a NE slope at 11,200ft. This avalanche was triggered from the ridge above and about 10 feet away from the crown. The crown height averaged 30 to 45cm. The weak layer NSF at the 1/19 interface. This slope had avalanched previously back in December. I’ve been by it about once a week since December. The snowpack remind weak every time I had previously passed it and it took this long to rebuild a slab. The storm at the end of last weak finally had added enough snow and the following warm temperatures probably helped develop the slab. This slope didn’t…

CBAC

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Weak structure on the border of NW and SW mountains.

Date of Observation: 02/03/2021…

CBAC

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Cement Creek Snow

Date of Observation: 02/03/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Ranch Aspect: Elevation: 9250′ Weather: Just a skiff of new snow at 5:30am. Snowing lightly.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Westside Carnage

Date of Observation: 02/02/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: East Beckwith Aspect: North East Elevation: 9900-11500′ Avalanches: Noteworthy cycle of persistent slabs on the west side of the Ruby Range (W and SW aspects N/ATL). See photos. Many of these likely ran on Sunday triggered by wet loose slides or simply warming. The others ran mid storm on Saturday. These slides are important because they are the first persistent slab avalanches we’ve observed on these windward aspects since the new year. In our travels today, the only steep slope we approached collapsed, cracked wall to wall, but didn’t slide. Small, unsupported rollovers were easy to trigger, soft slabs breaking on 1/19 interface, 18″ deep or so. Weather: Creepy warm. Noticeably…

CBAC

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Its warm out there on Snodgrass

Date of Observation: 02/02/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass front side Aspect: North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,300′ – 10,600′   Avalanches: nothing new observed Weather: Mostly cloudy skies early transitioned to partly cloudy skies in the afternoon. Mild air temps – felt a bit above freezing (weather stations confirmed temps in upper 30’s). Calm winds. Snowpack: Traveled through a quiet area on the front side of Snodgrass as snow depths in this area match well with other shallow snowpack zones in the Southeast Mountains. East through South slopes was moist at the surface to the highest elevation I traveled – 10,600′. Some northeast meadows were moist below about 10k. Ski penetration on east and northeast slopes…

CBAC

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Pop goes the Weasel

Date of Observation: 02/01/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Eric Murrow Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Elk Creek Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,600-10,500 Avalanches: Remotely triggered two avalanches from ridge top. The first was from ~250 feet away while moving towards the top of a steep open slope, D1.5 with debris piling up deeply in the terrain traps below. The second was triggered while traversing the flats above a steep open slope. This avalanche was a D2 that ran 200+ feet. Observed 1 small storm slab on a North aspect BTL as well as a D1.5 Persistent slab on a SE aspect BTL. Both likely ran Saturday. Photos of previously reported avalanches from Sunday 1/31 in Elk Basin on near treeline southeast…

CBAC

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Westwall

Date of Observation: 02/01/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Upper Upper Westwall Aspect: West Elevation: N/ATL Avalanches: Nothing new since the slides reported yesterday. Weather: High thin clouds increased in thickness through the day. Mild temps. Light winds. Snowpack: Explosive testing on upper elevation west-facing terrain with relatively minimal snow safety work this season. No results. Probing revealed discontinuous and isolated persistent slab structures across the terrain, due to previous wind erosion. Anything with a hint of south had a thin, melt freeze crust on the surface after yesterday’s warmup. Crusts did not soften today. Measured 1.6” Storm SWE in a relatively sheltered near treeline slope.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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More avalanche obs

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Views in around the West Elks, Ruby Range, and Elk Range. Avalanches: Lots of avalanche activity up-valley from Crested Butte. Kebler Pass, Ruby Range, and the main Elk Mountains all went through a cycle of mostly D2 avalanches. East to southeast near and below treeline had the most number of avalanches. Many of these avalanches near and below treeline broke broadly, and generally deeper in the snowpack, failing on buried persistent weak layers. Some of these released as late in the day as 3:30pm on east-facing terrain. Above treeline many slides released in the storm snow earlier in the loading event (January 30) on north through northeast to east-facing slopes. These…

CBAC

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Kebler Avalanche Cycle

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass Avalanches: Widespread natural avalanche cycle, primarily on E to SE to S facing slopes at all elevations. Could easily count up 20 to 30 avalanches, but probably more. Elk Basin had 4 or 5 D2’s. Numerous large slab avalanches in the Ruby/Owen/Purple group. Numerous natural small to large slab avalanches in the NTL/BTL elevations below Ruby/Owen/Purple. The Dyke area had plenty of large slab avalanche carnage at all elevations. Some old crowns from yesterday, and plenty of sharp fresh crowns from early this morning or today. We were not planing in much for avalanche terrain, but still remote triggered at least one 2ft deep slab avalanche. Saw several other human…

CB Avalanche Center

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Slides in Robinson Basin

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Robinson Basin Aspect: East, South East Elevation: NTL   Avalanches: See photos of large natural persistent slab avalanches on E/SE aspects of Robinson Basin that ran today…

CBAC

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Hot Pow

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021 Name: Zach Kinler, Jared Berman Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Purple Ridge Aspect: North East, East, South East, South, South West, West Elevation: 9,600′-11,800′ Avalanches: In addition to the many large persistent slab and wet loose snow avalanches already reported, we observed several wet loose on aspects from SE-S-W in the D1-D1.5 size range. All initiating from steep and often rocky areas near and above treeline midday. Of note was a large persistent slab avalanche and several small persistent slabs that ran midday on Schuylkill Ridge, closer to the peak on a near treeline terrain feature that wraps just south of East in aspect. Looks to have initiated from smaller wet loose snow avalanches as temps warmed.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Turning up the heat

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Baxter Basin Elevation: 9,600 – 11,700 ft Avalanches: Numerous natural D2 to D3 persistent slabs ran yesterday or today, mostly above treeline, appeared to be all on 1/19 interface, 3 to 6 feet deep. See photos/captions for details. Handful of smaller windslabs D1 to D2 ran yesterday, near and above treeline. No natural wind slabs today. Active loose avalanches throughout the day on the southern and eastern halves of the rose, all elevations, starting as dry loose and evolving to moist or wet loose by end of day. Mostly D1-D1.5 and a couple of D2. Countless small loose dry ran yesterday. Weather: Unseasonably warm on sunny slopes. Clear skies. Calm winds…

CBAC

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Mt. Bellview Natural Cycle

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mount Bellview Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 12,200-11,600   Avalanches: Natural loose snow avalanches ran down and sympathetically triggered 6 large slab avalanches. The first round of avalanches occurred shortly after 11:00 AM the second round closer to 2:00 PM. Videos of the slides are visible from Billy Barrs North Camera. (Thanks Billy!!) Weather: Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Top of the World

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Elkton Hills Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West Elevation: 11,200   Avalanches: Large persistent slab avalanches off Belleview mountain. Small wind slabs stepped down to deeper layers as the sun warmed those solar aspects. Possible glide avalanche in the paradise basin. Lots of point release on any exposed rock in the afternoon. Weather: Warm and bluebird. Snowpack: Creamy, hot pow.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Mt. Bellview

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: East side of Mt. Bellview Aspect: East Avalanches: Also saw multiple avalanches on the north side of Gothic  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Northwest Mountains Tour

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Aspect: South West, West Elevation: 10500-11500 Avalanches: Observed several slides on Mineral Point and ridge between Augusta and Richmond. Both appeared to occur during the storm and did not step down into older layers Weather: Calm and warm Snowpack: No signs of instability during our tour.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Skier Triggered

Date of Observation: 01/31/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass BTL Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,500 Avalanches: Skier triggered R4 D1.5. Released near the top of the slope in the middle of the convexity and propagated across most of the face. Weather: Sunny and clear skies. Around 10am. Snowpack: My best guess is it was storm slab that failed on the mid January facet layer. The debris was still fairly soft but deep enough to catch and bury a skier.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Multiple Remote Triggers

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Avalanches: Remotely triggered 5 large persistent slab avalanches while ascending a ridge near treeline. Super sensitive. Deepest crown was about 6 feet deep. They all stepped at least in part through last week’s snow. Ran with substantial energy and large powder clouds. CBAC note: We gathered this observation from a social media post. Details are forthcoming.  …

CBAC

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Irwin dumptown

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Tenure Avalanches: Touchy storm slabs in the AM chilled out by mid-day and we were able to resume ski checks that produced little beyond moving loose snow and some pocket slabs. Wind slab was not an issue near and btl. Weather: 15″ storm total at the plot with .8″ of water. Higher elevations have 20-30″ of new snow. Overnight total came in at 6% and today’s snow weighed in at 4.5%. Blower country. Snowing S2 when we departed.  …

CBAC

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Cracking and whumphing

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracite Range Aspect: North West Elevation: 9,800-11,000 Avalanches: No new avalanches observed. Poor vis ATL limited obs. Weather: Snowing this morning (S2) and tapering through the middle of the day. Couple well timed sunny breaks. Temps in the 20’s and minimal winds. Snow came back after 4 pm with overnight snowfall 4-6” and 1-2” through the day. Snowpack: Still weak! Average snowpack depth (HS) 135 cm and a ski pole easily passed through all of it. There is a 4F-4F+ slab over the January dry spell facet layer. Multiple collapses and cracks on slopes up to 35* though no releases. Some cracks went all the way to the November weak layer.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Ruby Range

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Ruby Range Aspect: East, South East Elevation: 10,000-11,000 Avalanches: Several natural loose snow and soft slab avalanches running throughout the day. All small in size. Weather: Snowing S1 to S3. Throughout the day. We were mostly in protected terrain with light winds. Snowpack: Skiing pow, holly surprisingly deep. Didn’t officially find the recent storm interface and get an accurate new snow measurement. Irwin’s reported numbers look spot on. Around 15″ of new snow with considerably more at higher elevations. We traveled through, steep, but small benchy terrain. Small slabs and sluffing were easy to manage. Wind-loaded terrain would have been more problematic. A few collapses went into deeper persistent weak layers…

CBAC

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Remote Trigger on Splain’s Gulch Road

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Right next to the road on splain’s gulch, at the bottom of the first open east facing pitch. Aspect: East Elevation: 9900 Avalanches: One small slide remotely triggered on a east facing slope. A couple steps into walking up this slope my partner triggered this slide from about 20 feet away. It was very quiet I didn’t hear anything move at the time. One crack extended from the crown back toward the trigger point. The bed surface was a convex roll with some exposed rock. Weather: Waves of heavy snowfall, on and off, with some moments of sunshine. Snowpack: Soft and unsupportive  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Roadside avalanche obs with poor vis

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains & Northwest Mountains Avalanches: Visibility was tantalizingly poor all day. Just enough vis for a few seconds to spot some natural avalanche activity. Observed a number of dry loose avalanches above treeline on Gothic and Scarp Ridge. Two small Wind Slabs spotted on WSC Peak and Whetstone.  I never left the pavement. Photos: [/gravityforms]…

CBAC

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Small Skier triggered slide in the Anthracites

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Small steep slope above seven bowl & skin track Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,550 Avalanches: A member of our group triggered a small slide (D1) in a steep area above seven bowl that has not seen much traffic. The slope was a NE aspect, the crown seemed to fracture on the 12/10 interface. Human factors: Our group got a bit spread out looking for fresh turns, a couple members that did not know the area well ended up in a steep area above seven bowl and triggered a small slide that ran into trees. Weather: Temp: mid 20’s Sky: partly cloudy wind: light Precipitation: periods of light snow Snowpack: Did not see…

CB Avalanche Center

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Snow and blow

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass Aspect: North, South East Elevation: 10,000 – 11,500′ Avalanches: Limited visibility obscured views of most near and above treeline terrain. -A few small natural wind slabs on east and southeast aspects near and below treeline that ran last night or today. These all looked to be about 6″ to 8″ thick -A small persistent slab that looks like it was unintentionally skier triggered from below the slope, about 18″ thick on a southeast aspect below treeline Weather: Overcast. Light to moderate NW winds where we traveled, drifting visible in exposed terrain. A few pulses of moderate snowfall (S2), but generally light snowfall or lulls through the day, with 1″ to…

CBAC

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Anthracite Mesa-Coneys

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: Observed three wet loose slides on the west facing gullies of Gothic. Not much snow was entrained and starting zones were partially exposed cliff bands. I assume these ran between Thursday or Friday (1/28/21-1/29/21). Weather: Paradise Divide and mountains in the NW zone west of the Anthracites were under obscured skies. In area of observations, mostly cloudy skies with periodic afternoon S-1 and S1 snow. lLight winds in the valley bottom with no snow transport and moderate winds at the ridge lines. Snow and wind didn’t result in additional loading of the bowls. Exception is summit ridge line had minimal…

CB Avalanche Center

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Splains Gulch/Mt. Axtell ski tour

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Splains Gulch Aspect: North East Elevation: 10500 Avalanches: Small R .5 observed on the open meadow above splains Gulch road Weather: 6/8 sky cover Light snow…

CB Avalanche Center

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AMR

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites Avalanches: See photo     Photos: [/gravityforms]…

CB Avalanche Center

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Walrod

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Walrod gulch Aspect: East Elevation: 9400 Avalanches: Noticed a small skier triggered slide in the path just past the walrod connector that looks like it went yesterday. Couldnt really distinguish a crown with the ski tracks and low vis and could’ve been a point release entraining snow in the gully. Not enough snow to go all the way to the road.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7 a.m.

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Weather: Cloudy with steady and light, but dense, snow much of the night with 2″ new and water 0.20″- a small crystal compact snow. Snowpack sits at 34″. Currently it is cloudy but not snowing and staying generally mild with the low and current temperature at 18ºF after a high yesterday of 37F (and 39 the day before). Wind is light with occasional gusting from the west. Little by little the snowpack goes….nowhere. billy  …

CBAC

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Cement Creek

Date of Observation: 01/30/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Ranch Elevation: 9250 Weather: 1.5” from last night  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Anthracite Mesa

Date of Observation: 01/29/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Long Lake area Aspect: North, North East, North West Elevation: 9500-10000 Avalanches: No new slab avalanches seen. Dry loose sluffing in steep northerly facing terrain that has grown completely faceted. Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: 20-30 mph Ridgeline Wind Direction: SW Wind Loading: Light Temperature: 35 F Depth of New Snow: 1 cm Depth of Total Snow: 85 cm Weather Description: Cloudy, warm. Pre-frontal winds picked up and began to transport snow early afternoon. Snowpack: Went hunting for weak snow. Dug numerous holes in this transitional zone on the periphery of the deep snow belt. This area is often representative of weaker parts of the zone, but not as shallow as Spring Creek…

CB Avalanche Center

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Elkton Knob remotely triggered avalanche

Date of Observation: 01/29/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Elkton area Aspect: East, South East Elevation: 9,400′ – 11,200′   Avalanches: Remotely triggered a small, D1, avalanche on a steep east-facing slope at 11,100′ with previous drifting. Weather: Mostly cloudy day, but with a few bits of sun and greenhousing. Winds picked up dramatically just after noon. Snow transport was visible across near and above treeline terrain throughout the Ruby Range for a few hours. Snowpack: Experienced a few small, quiet collapses on drifty near treeline terrain. Dug a test profile adjacent to a remotely triggered avalanche. Slope that avalanched was around 38 degrees (measured from the side not on bed surface might be a bit steeper). Steep, previously drifted…

CBAC

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January snow 2017-2021

Date of Observation: 01/29/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Elevation: BTL Weather: calm, near and above freezing. partly cloudy Snowpack: sticky snow with snow clumping on skins. See attached for snow depth and SWE comparison (2017-2021).  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Large Remotely Triggered Avalanche

Date of Observation: 01/29/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Purple Ridge Aspect: East Elevation: 11,600ft Avalanches: Remotely triggered a large avalanche from a lower angled slope, connected to a steeper slope. After no signs to instability all day, finally found just the right spot to punch through the slab, into the weak layer, and get a collapse. No shooting cracks in the terrain where the collapse occurred, but within a few seconds the larger bowl started to avalanche. The avalanche ran on the slower side, no powder cloud. It was large in size and propagated widely. This slope has avalanche previously this season. The crown is estimated to have averaged about 40 to 45 cm, while the deepest part of the…

CB Avalanche Center

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Watching for the persistent slab to wake up below treeline

Date of Observation: 01/29/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coon Basin / Climax chutes Aspect: North East, South East Elevation: 9200′ – 11300′ Avalanches: Nothing new Weather: Warm temps all day. Snow showers early in the morning before skies opened up and the sun popped out for a while. The afternoon brought cloudy skies again and strong winds above treeline from the southwest with visible plumes off of the high peaks. Snowpack: Traveling through wind-sheltered terrain near and below the treeline, we found slab structures ranging from 30-40cm on southeast and northeast aspects. On southeast aspects, slabs from new snow were not as deep averaging about 30-35cm resting on top of a melt-freeze crust that varied in thickness depending on aspect…

CB Avalanche Center

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Cream

Date of Observation: 01/28/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Washington Gulch Aspect: South, South West Elevation: N/ATL   Avalanches: Nothing new that wasn’t reported yesterday morning. Weather: Thin overcast to broken, greenhousing. Light summit winds. Snowpack: Rec skiing so we spent the day traveling in terrain where we didn’t expect to find instabilities: non-windloaded, south and southwest aspects. The 1/19 crust (over facets) is about 5cm thick and did not produce any signs of instability on steeper terrain. On flatter slopes, we got a couple of collapses where the crust was thinner. There’s about 45 cm slab up to 4F on the 1/19 layers.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Quiet Shallow Weak Cement Creek…kind of

Date of Observation: 01/28/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek to Reno Divide for photo & glassing then tour on Hunter Hill Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: 9,000 – 11,800′   Avalanches: Observed a number of avalanches in the Cement and Brush Creek drainages…all from drifted terrain features. Two slabs in North Bowl on Cement Mountain D1.5s, D1.5 on very drifted NTL feature on Hunter Hill southeast aspect, good size D2 near White Mountain on east aspect ATL(looks to have failed near ground), 5 D2ish slides on east-facing slopes ATL in Twin Lakes drainage(long-distance view – some looked shallow, some looked deep failing) Weather: Largely cloudy skies but often thin cloud cover with sun visible through clouds.…

CBAC

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Avy 2 Observation Tour-Washington Gulch

Date of Observation: 01/28/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Washington Gulch – a little past Coney’s Aspect: North East Elevation: 10500 ft   Avalanches: None observed Weather: Temperature: 30F Sky: Broken Wind: Calm Precip: None Snowpack: Our group dug 3 pits, height of snow ranged from 125-109cm. Easy CT results: (3,8,9) SC Moderate ECTP results: (10,11,16) SC PST END (40/100,45/100, 65/100) All results were on the same layer that ranged from 40-45cm depth from surface on the interface of the recent storm. We observed 3 collapses on flat terrain during the day. Skied terrain in the lower 30 degree range.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Ruby Range Wind Loading

Date of Observation: 01/27/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Baldy south ridge up to southeast ridge down Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,400 – 12,600   Avalanches: A handful of fresh avalanches with crowns looking sharp. D2 in the Martini on Richmond, D2 near Martini on an unsupported slope that triggered slope below, D2 near Ohbejoyful Peak, D2 Afley peak – all northeast and above treeline. A lil’ family of D1 Storm Slabs near Elkton below treeline on a steep east-facing feature from this past weekend (several inches of snow subduing crown and bed surface) Weather: Mostly clear skies before noon then mostly cloudy in the PM over the Ruby Range…

CBAC

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Pow day

Date of Observation: 01/27/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red Lady Glades Aspect: South East, South Elevation: 9,800-12,000   Avalanches: Noticed a small fresh looking windslab release from the center of RLB. D1 and maybe a bit older but the crown still looked fresh as compared to this mornings ski tracks. Looks like something significant in 4th bowl of Axtell, though my guess is cornice fall and/or windslab release and not persistent slab. Weather: Sunny, cool and breezy up high. Snow surface stayed dry despite strong solar. Lots of snow moving near and above treeline. Temps stayed cold as new cloud layer came in after noon. Snowpack: It’s getting supportive! HS roughly 135 cms as average around the terrain we…

CB Avalanche Center

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RMBL Study Plot 01/27/20

Date of Observation: 01/27/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Aspect: Elevation: Photos:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Morning avalanche obs

Date of Observation: 01/27/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Avalanches: See photos. A handful of large natural slab avalanches on leeward terrain near and above treeline (easterly aspects) that all look like they ran last night or yesterday afternoon. Most appear to be on the 1/19 facet layer, and a few wind slabs.  …

CBAC

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Thar she blows

Date of Observation: 01/26/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Upper Slate Aspect: North East, East, South East, West Elevation: 9700 – 10900′ Avalanches: Ski cut a couple of thin wind slabs below treeline, about 6″ thick, that formed this afternoon, D1. Got good views of the large avalanche reported yesterday from Schuylkill Ridge. Based on the size of the crown, I estimate that it failed on the 1/19 interface about 18″ deep and gouged near to the ground. That path ran in mid-December and the snowpack prior to this recent storm was very thin. See photo. Saw another persistent slab (probably 1/19 interface) that likely ran in the past 24 hours, triggered by a sluff from a cliff band above on…

CBAC

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Wash Gulch Wandering

Date of Observation: 01/26/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coney’s and Snodgrass Aspect: North East, East, South, South West, West Elevation: B/NTL Avalanches: Observed debris below the West Face of Gothic. Looked fairly fresh but visibility was mediocre so hard to say from when, could not see start zones well enough to tell. Weather: Overcast with periods of broken skies until around 230pm, with on and off S-1 and very light to calm winds. After 230pm winds were moderate from NW and S1 snowfall. Snowpack: Storm snow much more supportive today, 4F to F+ right above the 1/19 interface. Traveled a few of the same zones Saturday on the tail end of the largest snowfall and could still feel old tracks…

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7 a.m.

Date of Observation: 01/26/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Weather: This is now the 8th day in a row with measurable snowfall and only one day has recorded more than 2½”. A true sign of a winter in drought. Light snow yesterday, then some clearing after dark as temperature dropped to -09ºF before clouds moved back and pushed it to the current 6F after a high yesterday of 24F. Light snow with 1″ new and water 0.09″. Currently overcast with very light snow, though small and dense crystals without any wind and snowpack sits at 35″. billy  …

CBAC

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Large skier triggered persistent slab on Schuylkill Ridge

Date of Observation: 01/25/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Schuylkill Ridge Aspect: North East Elevation: Near treeline Avalanches: Skier triggered a large slide that “ripped to the ground…released way above me”. Skier was able to get out of the way of moving debris due to good radio communication from partners watching from a safe spot.…

CBAC

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Carnage in the NW mountains

Date of Observation: 01/25/2021 Name: Jack Caprio and Zach Guy Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Ruby/Dyke area, then Anthracites Aspect: North, North East, East, South East Elevation: 10,000-11,500   Avalanches: We remotely or sympathetically triggered 6 D1 to D1.5 persistent slab avalanches on east facing terrain near and below treeline. 1 remotely triggered D1 on an east facing near treeline slope off Ruby Peak. This avalanche was triggered from about 200 vertical feet below. The crown was 18 inches of recent storm snow on facets ( 1/19 interface). In the Anthracites, we continued to find instabilities. We remotely triggered one D1.5 soft slab avalanche which then sympathetically triggered 4 more small avalanches (D1 to D1.5) on the same terrain feature. All…

CBAC

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Gothic 7 a.m.

Date of Observation: 01/25/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Weather: Cloudy all day yesterday and overnight with steady very light snow during the Sunday morning – a cold weather, small crystal, dense snowfall but not much of it until a brief last afternoon period of heavier snow. Then dry most of the night until snow started up around 5 a.m. Snow total is 3″ new and 0.29″ of water and the snowpack sits at 36½”. No wind (and none yesterday) and currently overcast and the snow seems to have stopped. The temperature range was a hgh of 27F, low 0F and currently 10F. billy  …

CBAC

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Kebler Pass Area

Date of Observation: 01/24/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Elevation: 9,500-12,000 Avalanches: 1 small storm slab from Saturday 1/24. North aspect at 10,000ft. Weather: Overcast. Pulses of snow, ramping up the most in the afternoon. Picked up 3 to 4″ of new snow today. Snowpack: Traveled through lots of terrain, but mostly lower angled slopes. Not much for red flags until we were riding slopes in the low 30-degree range on E, SW and W aspects between 11,000-12,000ft. Farther running shooting cracks in this terrain make it clear that we didn’t want to travel on anything big or much steeper. These slopes were upper BTL and NTL type terrain and didn’t have recent wind-loading.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Red Lady Glades

Date of Observation: 01/24/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red Lady Skin Tracks Aspect: South East Elevation: 11800 Avalanches: Watched it slide from the Red Lady skin track. No obvious trigger. Possible natural slide but did see some tracks on the ridge above the slide on our descent so possibly remote trigger. Weather: Low visibility. Light snow. No wind. Snowpack: Storm Slab  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Red Lady Glades

Date of Observation: 01/24/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Red Lady Glades 11,800′ Southeast Aspect (38.8694561, -106.9856561) Aspect: South East Elevation: 11800   Avalanches: R1, D1, storm slab. Natural slide – Not human triggered. Watched it go. Weather: Snowpack: Around 10 inches of new snow slide on a shallow snow pack  …

CB Avalanche Center

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A few signs of instability

Date of Observation: 01/24/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate River drainage Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,000 to 11,300′ Avalanches: We got a window of mediocre visibility of Peeler Peak and Scarp Ridge and didn’t see any noteworthy avalanches. Saw a pair of D1 storm snow avalanches on Schuylkill Ridge that ran yesterday; one was skier triggered, the other natural. Weather: Very light snowfall (S-1) and calm winds all morning. Around 2 p.m., southwest winds increased to moderate and we observed a half-hour of heavy snowfall rates (S5). About an inch or two of accumulation all day. Snowpack: 10″ to 12″ of settled storm snow over the well-described 1/19 interface. We observed a couple of collapses and got shooting…

CBAC

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Thor Himself,

Date of Observation: 01/24/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Reno Divide Aspect: East, West Elevation: 11,200 Avalanches: Collapsing and Whumpfing, everywhere, loud as Thor. No visible avalanches. Weather: Overcast with occasional sun pockets, light west wind, moderate snowfall. Snowpack: Wind stripped @ ridge. West aspect- 30-60cm below ridge. Firm sun crust and wind board. East aspect- 60-105cm below ridge. Firm windslab on top of sun crust supportive to snow machine. Sheltered on ridge- 105cm, 10cm storm snow (see photo)  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Cement Creek Snow

Date of Observation: 01/24/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Ranch Aspect: Elevation: 9250’   Avalanches: Weather: Storm total as of Sunday morning is 2”. That includes 1.5” reported yesterday morning. Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 01/24/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Only light snow after sunset until early in the morning but decent snow Saturday afternoon so the 24 hour total is 3½” new with 0.27″ of water. Snowpack reached 37″ deep but now sits at 35″. Currently cloudy with no wind. Temperature range was from a high 0f 32F to a low of -2F but it has jumped to 10F by sunrise. The recent snow has propelled this winter to 31st of the last 47 winters in snowpack, but that was just the climb from the past few days as snowfall to date has dropped to 45th of the last 47 winters.…

CBAC

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Staunch Wall

Date of Observation: 01/23/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Aspect: North, North East, South East, South Elevation: 10500+ Avalanches: Natural soft slab R2 D1.5 on Cascade south. Looked to start in chute above tree line and run past summer road. Weather: Gusty west wind and short lived inch an hour rate snow pulses in the morning. Small clearing from noon until 3 followed by light wind and snow. Snowpack: Generally 40cm new snow on dry spell layer.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Persistent slab avalanche on Red Lady

Date of Observation: 01/23/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Red Lady skin track Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 11,300 Avalanches: Intentionaly skier triggered this persistent slab R1.5 above some pretty steep and suspect terrain that no one really skies but is right off the skin track. Quite a stubborn release, but failed at or near the ground. Crown was approx 50 ft wide and well over a meter in places. There were also three visible R1 storm slabs in the bowl. And one a bit below the aforementioned intentional trigger. -KH Weather: Wind gusts above TL easily pushing 45+mph. Snowpack: Storm snow seemed to average about 30cm but some drifts up to 50cm near TL.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Welcome Back Winter

Date of Observation: 01/23/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Upper Slate River Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,600-10,600 Avalanches: Didn’t observe any avalanche activity in the Upper Slate River. Couple nice periods of light, but otherwise flat light and hard to see. Getting back to town there were a few funny looking things in Red Lady Bowl. At least one small slab low in the bowl and a couple of others potentially on the looker’s left ridge. SE to E. Real bad light and hard to say. Weather: Little flakes of joy kept falling from the sky. Isn’t that sweet? Sure made me happy!! We headed out at about 10am, fairly consistent S2 until about noon. Snowfall started to taper afternoon…

CBAC

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Not your grandma’s sluffing

Date of Observation: 01/23/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass Aspect: North East Elevation: 9400′ – 11000′ Avalanches: D2 natural slab avalanche off of the East face of Gothic along with some smaller slides on Gothic. On Snodgrass, we noted 3 natural loose snow avalanches and intentionally triggered about 5 others that ran about 400 vertical feet. These were all larger than you might expect because they entrained the 12″ of storm snow along with most of the season’s weak snowpack, generally about D1.5 in size. We probed debris on a low angle bench where several slides had overlapped and it was up to 8 feet deep. Weather: Moderate snowfall through mid-afternoon (S1 to S3). Moderate southwesterly winds were shaking trees…

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Anthracites

Date of Observation: 01/23/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites skin track near the top before your turn right to tree chit or left to 7th bowl Aspect: North East Elevation: 11,200 Avalanches: D1 propagated about 50 feet wide Weather: Actively snowing and windy on the ridge. 20 degrees Snowpack: Mid storm 15” new snow. 11am Saturday 1/23. Avalanche problem: storm slab…

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Gothic Weather Update 7am

Date of Observation: 01/23/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Winter is here- i seemed to have forgotten how much more difficult it is to get around when it snows as it has been a while. —Light snow overnight picking up some after midnight with 7½” new and water a lighter 0.45″. The snowpack has reached the winter’s deepest of 35″. Currently obscured cloud cover with moderate snow and thankfully no wind. Yesterday’s high temp was 28F this mornings low and the current is 21F. We had more snow last night than the whole of January up until today.…

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Cement Creek 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 01/23/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Elevation: 9250 Weather: 1.5” @ 6:30aa…

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More Weak Snow Obs…

Date of Observation: 01/22/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracite Range Aspect: South East, South Elevation: 9,500-11,500 Avalanches: A few small loose snow avalanches coming out of steep terrain. Noticed a couple on east BTL, and a couple on south NTL. Weather: Mostly Cloudy. On and off snow up to S1. Calm Wind. New snow since 1/19 ~6″ Snowpack: New snow since 1/19 was at about 6″ at 11,000ft. No current avalanche problems were encountered and the new snow really was improving the riding quietly. The 1/19 crust on the S to SE aspects sure looked like a bad interface for the incoming snow. Those crusts looked like they would hold a little weight, then aid in propagation as they collapsed…

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Garbage sluffs

Date of Observation: 01/22/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Mt. Axtell Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 9,400 – 11,800′ Avalanches: On a north aspect near treeline, we skier triggered a facet sluff that entrained the entire snowpack to the ground. It ran about 1,000 vertical feet, D1.5 in size. The sluff “stepped up” once it encountered hard, wind affected snow in a tight gulley. Weather: Light snowfall through the day, about an inch of accumulation. Calm winds. Snowpack: About 3″ to 4″ of low-density snow on the 1/19 interface. The rest of the snowpack is basically all fist hard facets. In a steep, open start zone near treeline, ski pen is to the ground, knee to thigh deep facets. The 1/19…

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Emmonx to Schuykill

Date of Observation: 01/21/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Redwell to First Bowl Skooks Aspect: North, East, South East, South, South West, North West Elevation: 9000-12,500   Avalanches: small D1 dry loose in first bowl Schuykill. Slow moving and avoidable but could get surprised in wrong terrain. Managed problem with avoidance and awareness. Smart re-grouping areas out of fall line. Weather: Orographic snow showers mostly in AM. 2-3″ new snow accumulation. perfect Stellars, minimal wind except 20mph NW on ridgelines of Emmons. Minimal wind effect on Skook ridgeline. Temperatures moderated throughout day and say some greenhousing softening southerly slopes and surface snow. Snowpack: Generally faceted with minimal slabs denser than 4F hardness. No formal pits but handpits and pole probing…

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Baxter Basin/ Daisy Pass walkabout

Date of Observation: 01/21/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate River to Baxter/Daisy near treeline area Aspect: North, North East, East, North West Elevation: 9,000′ – 11,400′   Avalanches: visibility was often obscured but glimpsed a handful of very small debris piles below steep rocky areas – would guess some minor sloughing of the recent precip of rocks. Weather: Skies were mostly cloudy with a low cloud deck. Very light to light snowfall from 10am to 330pm. New snow accumulation since 1/19 varied from a bit more than 2inches at Slate TH to 6″ at 11k in Baxter Basin. Winds were light with some moderate gusting. Observed some snow transport. Snowpack: Went for a walk through Baxter Basin and wrapped…

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Quick jaunt around near treeline slopes

Date of Observation: 01/20/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Sunny side of Mount Baldy Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 9,600′ – 11,500′   Avalanches: nothing new to report Weather: Light snow and mostly cloudy skies in the morning gave way to mostly clear skies by around 11am. At 11,000′ I found around 2 inches of new snow. Observed transport of new snow on the highest terrain from westerly winds but not enough snow to cause a new avalanche problem. Snowpack: Did not cover a lot of terrain but snowmobiled and skinned around on a number of near treeline features in the area. No signs of instability on machine or foot moving across terrain features that clearly had slabs present.…

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Summary of persistent weak layers on the snow surface

Date of Observation: 01/19/2021  …

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West Elk Wilderness obs

Date of Observation: 01/18/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: West Elk Wilderness Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 9,300-11,600′ Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: 10-20 mph Ridgeline Wind Direction: NW Wind Loading: Light Temperature: 17 F Sky Cover: Broken Depth of New Snow: 1 cm Depth of Total Snow: 70 cm Weather Description: Overcast at sunrise turning to partly cloudy by late morning. Brisk winds at ridgetop did not have much snow to move. Snowpack: On east to southeasterly-facing terrain below and near treeline we found a generally faceted snowpack with an exceptionally weak snow surface. We moved through and over lots of avalanche terrain with no collapsing or shooting cracks. We skirted around the margin of one recently wind-loaded slope just…

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A bit of soft snow, mostly wind hammered surfaces and a triggered avalanche

Date of Observation: 01/18/2021 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracite Mesa Aspect: East, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,400′-11,000 Avalanches: Observed the previously reported skier-triggered slide in the Purple Palace exit. HS-ASu-R1-D1.5-I Weather: Lovely in sheltered terrain below treeline with temps around freezing, calm to light breezes. Light to moderate NW wind still pumping in open areas and closer to ridge line. Snowpack: Mainly looking for soft snow in sheltered west-facing terrain on a quick rec tour. Previous travel in this area revealed HS in the 80-90 cm range before the recent wind event. Today HS was more like 60-70 cm with open areas being mostly scoured revealing past skin/ski tracks. Suttle terrain changes on these cross-loaded…

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Unintentional skier triggered slide

Date of Observation: 01/18/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Purple palace exit Aspect: East Elevation: 9,750-10,000 Avalanches: Unintentionally triggered a small wind slab at the entrance to the exit slope of purple palace which propagated and entrained most of the season’s snowpack, running with energy through small trees about 300 vertical feet to the creek. Didn’t get an exact read on the depth of the debris pile but may be close to 6 feet. I believe I caught the bottom edge of the slab, the crown is maybe 15 feet above my entrance track. I saw the slab breaking around me and immediately skied traversing to the right to exit the slide. Extreme moment of complacency not identifying the obviously windloaded…

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No Signs To Instability, Still Some Nice Snow In Protected Areas

Date of Observation: 01/17/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Aspect: West, North West Elevation: 10,500-11,200 Snowpack: Traveled through westerly facing terrain features at both BTL and NTL elevations. I’ve been through that area 2 other times in the last couple of weeks. Each time now on a slightly different route. Basically, on 1/6 traveling through that area produced some alarming and far running shooting cracks. On 1/12 there were still some concerning shooting cracks and uninspiring red flags, but a little quieter than back on 1/6. Now today, there was still some nice soft snow in protected areas, but no avalanche concerns due to a heavily faceted snowpack. While the hard slabs we traveled on at both BTL and NTL elevations also…

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Sugar Shack

Date of Observation: 01/17/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: East Beckwith Aspect: East Elevation: 10,000 – 11,600′ Avalanches: None Weather: Light northwest winds. Partly to mostly cloudy. Snowpack: We traveled on several steep east facing slopes near and above treeline without signs of instability. A lot of ski pole probing easily going to the ground indicated the persistent slab structure was mostly faceted away. We dug a test pit in a concave part of the bowl holding a deeper, denser snowpack. Despite an unnerving looking structure (see photo), tests produced non-propagating results. We chose to avoid this part of the bowl, regardless. Last week’s winds did little to damage the weak snow surface here, apart from forming a thin windcrust above…

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Snoddy Toddy

Date of Observation: 01/16/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass/Gothic Road Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9600-10000 Avalanches: D1 Avalanche on East Facing aspect, Hard slab, looks to be 30cm thick, Naturally triggered. Not sure if it released today or prior to today. Weather: Partly cloudy AM into a blue bay day Snowpack: Hunting for wind load, found on Easterly slopes BTL in isolated pockets. They began as thin crusts and with some hunting we found 6-12″ hard slabs, Pencil hard. Cracking beneath feet to about 6′ around some of us and one that shot our fairly far, see photos. No propagating test results, only dug in areas where there was no wind affect and deteriorating slabs existed, did…

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wind slab hunters

Date of Observation: 01/16/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Various valley locations near Crested Butte Aspect: North East Elevation: 8900-9200′ Avalanches: None Snowpack: We targeted a handful of obvious windloaded features from strong valley winds near town. Wind drifted slabs were 2″ to 5″ thick, pencil hard. Some would crack after undercutting and stomping on the slope, others would crack as we crossed the slope, with shooting cracks up to 10′.  Slabs were all small and localized to easily identified features such as rollovers or in gullies. The rest of the terrain that we traveled on was all bottomless facets with some wind texture on the surface.  …

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BTL snowpack is like a box of chocolates

Date of Observation: 01/16/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Walrod Elevation: BTL Avalanches: NA Weather: calm winds at the surface and near/above freezing temperatures early AM. Mostly cloudy transitioning to partly cloudy skies. north winds ATL and above appeared to be moderate by movement of winds but no wind transport observed on ridges. Snowpack: Trace of graupel (1mm) in size. Strong winds Wednesday and Thursday created a mosaic of stiff and soft wind slabs on all aspects in openings. Poking around in other areas resulted in unsupportive snow up to 12 inches. The snowpack here is shallow or devoid on southerly aspects with high incoming UVA radiation. Snowpack is best summed up Forrest Gump: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgZXC1OGhR8  …

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Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore

Date of Observation: 01/15/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: West Brush Creek towards Coffee Pot Pass Aspect: East, South, West Elevation: 9,000 to 12,800′   Avalanches: We intentionally triggered a hard slab avalanche on a small, heavily windloaded terrain feature on an east aspect below treeline. The slab was about a foot thick and about 300 feet wide, D1.5 in size. It was made up of windrifted snow failing on weak facets. Weather: Clear skies, mild temps, periods of moderate to strong gusts drifting faceted snow. Snowpack: We traveled mostly on low angle terrain below treeline and some steeper slopes on westerly aspects near and above treeline. Below treeline, we triggered about a dozen collapses and shooting cracks on the…

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Wind Board Is The New Pow Bro

Date of Observation: 01/15/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler to Scarps Ridge Elevation: 9,000-12,000 Avalanches: Nothing new observed Weather: Few clouds, with continued moderate to strong winds Snowpack: Covered ground and moved around, just trying to get a better idea of conditions after the wind event. Mostly just traveling on roads and looking at the terrain. In the big picture, there was way more wind erosion on the snowpack, then any actual wind-loading. I really didn’t see much of any lens-shaped, pillowy, or well loaded looking terrain. I’m sure there was some form of loading, maybe NTL behind some tree fences or something. Though I wouldn’t say you could claim there is specific terrain with common characteristics holding fresh wind…

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wind event carnage at the anthracites

Date of Observation: 01/15/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: anthracites Avalanches: one small wind slab in 1/2 bowl of axtell, see photo. Some cracking on the ridge approaching top of AMR, see photo, and one settlement on the ridge as well. Weather: windy. Still very windy. Snowpack: we had the opportunity to sample a variety of snow conditions. Breaker windboard, supportive windboard, impenetrable windboard, breaker sastrugi, impenetrable sastrugi, wind stiffened, and even some merely wind fondled in the most protected trees left of friendly.  …

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Fresh Slab Avalanche In Poverty Gulch

Date of Observation: 01/14/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains…

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Wind blew the barn door open

Date of Observation: 01/14/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Elevation: 9250’ Weather: Literally. Also snow devils. Snowpack: Wind died down late Thursday morning and picked up again in the evening. Wind drifts in the valley bottom on Thursday we’re small. Depth mostly measured in inches, not feet.…

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CB Nordic Explorers

Date of Observation: 01/14/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Crested Butte Avalanches: A skier in our after school Nordic programs remote triggered this little guy walking just off of the groomed trail. You can see his tracks approaching the slope on the bottom lookers right. Wow! No teenagers were harmed in the making of this observation.…

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Upper Slate River

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…

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RMBL Study Plot 01/13/21

Date of Observation: 01/13/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Elevation: 9500…

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Washington Gulch

Date of Observation: 01/12/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Aspect: West, North West Elevation: 10,600-11,300 Weather: Clear sky in the morning, with high thin clouds moving in for the afternoon. Calm winds. Cold and inverted temps. Snowpack: Headed back to some west and northwest terrain that I had traveled through 6 days ago. Back then we produced some, far-running, shooting cracks on the early December facets, and kept it conservative while traveling through the terrain. Today started off appearing quiet. A quick test pit showed a snowpack structure that wasn’t drastically different than 6 days ago. An ECTN result also started looking promising. HS at that site was about 80cm and the 4F to 1F- slab just barely couldn’t support boot pen,…

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The rotting continues

Date of Observation: 01/12/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,000 to 11,400′   Avalanches: In a path that ran in mid-December, we skier triggered a long-running facet sluff that gouged to the ground. It ran about 1,000′ vertical feet and entrained about a foot of weak faceted snow, about D1.5 in size. Good communication from partners watching from ridgeline prevented this sluff from surprising the skier. It started off very small and slow but picked up quite a bit of speed and punch by the end. Weather: Inverted temps, thin broken cloud cover in the afternoon, calm winds. Snowpack: In the windsheltered terrain that we traveled in up to 11,000 feet, the slab has…

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Swiss cheese?

Date of Observation: 01/12/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Cool place Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 10,000-12,000 Avalanches: None Weather: sunny, warm up high, calm Snowpack: I don’t speak freaky deaky snow science but I do know this. The snowpack heading up to the ridge on a NE aspect was encouraging where it was deeper (120 cm) with a pretty stout “midpack.” Less encouraging when it got shallower and not so encouraging “midpack” (more like “midpunch”) due north 11,50-10,500 in areas that had not seen the sun. Like pole punchy with a smidge of resistance about 10 inches down and then no resistance to the ground. By the final pitch it was a facetfest. Swiss cheese? Spatial variability?…

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Snodgrass Obs

Date of Observation: 01/12/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: NE side of snodgrass Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 10,500 Avalanches: Easy to trigger dry loose avalanches in steep terrain Snowpack: Seems as though everywhere we traveled the slab had faceted away. The one formal pit we dug at 10,600 produced ECTN results…

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Purple Ridge obs

Date of Observation: 01/11/2021 Name: Eric Murrow & Zach Kinler   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Purple Ridge standard up track area Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: 9,600′ – 11,600′   Avalanches: nothing new to report Weather: clear skies, nasty cold at valley bottom along the slate gave way to pleasant conditions just a few hundred feet above valley bottom and above. Very light winds near ridgetop with no drifting snow observed. Snowpack: Ascended generally easterly terrain to ridgetop. This is a snow favored area around Crested Butte with the deepest snow accumulations in the forecast area. No signs of instability noted like collapsing or cracking. Very little traffic in this area since the 12/29 storm. Near treeline probing…

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Shooting crack in the Slate

Date of Observation: 01/11/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Schuylkill Ridge Aspect: North East, East Elevation: N/BTL Avalanches: Minor sluffing Weather: Strong inversion. Mostly clear skies. Calm winds. Snowpack: Rec skiing – traveled on mostly existing skin tracks or terrain that avalanched in mid-December and saw no signs of instability until reaching flat terrain at valley bottom, where we got one large collapse that produced a shooting crack 150′ long. Widespread weak layers on the surface: surface hoar decreases in size and distribution at higher elevations. Near surface facets are widespread. The snowpack in terrain that avalanched earlier in December is noticeably weaker (often trapdoor skiing on larger grained, fist hard facets) and is set up to be a repeat offender…

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Carbon north side

Date of Observation: 01/10/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: North “bowl” on carbon peak Aspect: North, North East, North West Elevation: 10,000′ – 12,000′   Avalanches: skier-triggered loose avalanche in surface snow on a very short, roll-over. The steep slope was short so only entrained the top few inches. Weather: Mostly clear day with cool air temperatures. Light winds at 12,000′, no transport observed. Snowpack: Traveled through northerly slopes only. Produced one collapse around 10,400′ that rolled maybe 100ish feet – dug profile nearby to have a look/test, see photos. Produced a few other small collapses below treeline but fairly localized, ~30 foot radius. Ski pen was surprisingly good at 6″ – so trail breaking was pleasant. As we ascended…

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Large slide on Bellview

Date of Observation: 01/10/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Mt. Bellview Aspect: South East Elevation: ATL Avalanches: Large slab avalanche on the SE face of Bellview noted yesterday. We suspect this ran naturally during the windloading on 1/6.  Let us know if you have other information on the timing or trigger.…

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Loose Dry, Again…

Date of Observation: 01/10/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gunsight Pass Rd, below Wolverine Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,026   Avalanches: Loose Dry Sluff on NE slope 38 deg. Weather: Partly Sunny, Calm Snowpack:  …

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Stay Snoddy

Date of Observation: 01/09/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass/Gothic Road Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9000′-10000′   Avalanches: Continue to hear localized whumps in undisturbed snow where slabs remain stiff. Weather: Partly Cloudy, warm, Sunny, no winds, Cold end to the day below Gothic road around the northern captures of the compass. Snowpack: Toured from East onto the N-NE portion of the compass, BTL. Observed slabs decomposing into softer snow. Where we dug, we still observe a F-1F slab structure, that 1F portion has shrunk with time, slowly becoming softer from the top down. From last weekend to now, we are no longer seeing propagating test results in this location. Where slabs remain stiff in isolated terrain, localized…

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Mt Axtell

Date of Observation: 01/09/2021 Name: Jared Berman & Jack Caprio Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: From Splains Gulch ascended the West face to the summit of Axtell. Skied South facing bowl before traveling back up S/SW ridge where we then skied the West face of Axtell back down to sleds Aspect: North East, East, South-West, West Elevation: 10,100ft – 12,500ft Avalanches: None observed. Weather: Broken clouds throughout the day and light winds from the NE. Several short periods of very light snowfall accumulating only trace amounts near and above treeline. Snowpack: The snowpack is still showing clear signs of instability on many aspects. However, collapsing and shooting cracks are only happening on specific terrain features and have started to become more…

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Faceting Slabs

Date of Observation: 01/09/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: Starting to be able to ski trigger Loose Dry on steep North-facing rollovers. Snowpack: No propagating test results, but we observed a couple localized, stubborn collapses in previously untraveled terrain. One triggered by the fourth person in the track, and a few triggered by repeated stomps in the same spot. Upper snowpack continues to lose strength.  …

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Washington Gulch Coneys Area

Date of Observation: 01/09/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Aspect: North East Elevation: 9,700 to 10,800 Weather: Partly Cloudy, light winds. Funny seeing overcast skys and maybe a couple flakes over Mt CB and clear sky over the Ruby Range. How often does that happen? Snowpack: The early December weak layer is widespread in the terrain. While slabs above that weak-layer are specific to cross-loaded terrain at lower elevations, or the lee sides of ridge-lines at NTL elevations. Not all terrain features with those common characteristics hold a slab, so you could argue that the slab is isolated in the terrain. Isolated and Stubborn… We observed one collapse in a flat area. Otherwise no obvious signs of instability. Lots of tracks…

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Cracks & Collapsing in Washington Gulch

Date of Observation: 01/08/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Washington Gulch Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9800 – 10800   Avalanches: None Observed Weather: Temp: mid 20’s Sky: Clear Wind: Calm Precip: none Snowpack: We toured past the Coney’s Ski area and got multiple shooting cracks and collapses on steeper terrain features, upper 20 degree features and even a couple in flat areas. All of these areas had not seen much traffic (probably none) this season. Still feels tender out there! HS ranged from 70cm to 85cm in areas probed.  …

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Rotting Slabs

Date of Observation: 01/08/2021 Name: Jack Caprio & Jared Berman Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass to the east river Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: <10,000′ Avalanches: None observed. Weather: Clear, warm, and calm. Snowpack: We traveled on primarily NE and E facing aspects up to about 10,000 feet. The lower in elevation we went, the less of a slab we found. Near the east river valley bottom, on a NE aspect, the snowpack consisted of about 50-70 cm of F hard cohesionless, faceted snow. Very weak. The only areas we were able to find a slab below 9,500′ was on isolated, exposed, ridgelines, where previous winds had drifted snow into a firmer slab about 5-20 cm thick. A bit…

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Reno Divide

Date of Observation: 01/08/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Aspect: South, South West Elevation: 11k Avalanches: One fresh looking D2 off a southeast aspect of Hunter Hill. Weather: Bluebird. Winds around 15 ATL Snowpack: Initiated several collapses while setting a skintrack and skiing down in the vicinity of the track on S and SW aspects near treeline. Collapsing and cracks went up to 40′ on the largest. HS was about 80cm in sheltered areas and was punchy and unsupportive about 20% of the time  …

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cold snow, some crust

Date of Observation: 01/08/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: End of Washington Gulch Aspect: South Elevation: 10,000-12,000 Avalanches: Older natural on Baldy (previously reported) Weather: sunny, low 20’s up high out of wind. Slight breeze on top. No snow transport. Snowpack: Variety of depths as we skinned up maxing out at approx 120 cm on a below treeline south facing low angle slope. Small steeper and shallower S and SW pockets below treeline had a sun crust. Majority of the snow in protected areas was soft and awesome. Climbing the ridge between south and southeast bowls also varied in depth with new, wind loaded snow sitting on a slick and very firm surface in some spots. South facing bowl had a…

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Good adventure in bad snow…

Date of Observation: 01/08/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Farris Creek Aspect: South, South West, West Elevation: 9,000-12,200   Avalanches: Old debris from the summit of Double Top N, in NE terrain. No new avalanches observed. Weather: Blue sky, very little wind. Zero degrees in the AM, felt quite warm in the sun as we ascended… Snowpack: Pretty much terrible. Ran the full spectrum between breakable crust to bottomless facets. Pretty much everything except supportable, soft snow. Large, widespread surface hoar. A little bit of supportable crust on steep south facing slopes where the snow was shallow (10cm); on those same slopes with deeper snow, punchy and weird, with shallow wind slabs just below the ridges. HS ranged from 0…

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Weak snowpack, still collapsing

Date of Observation: 01/08/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mount Emmons Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,000 to 11,200 ft Avalanches: Intentionally skier triggered a few small loose dry avalanches entraining the top 6″ of faceted surface snow. They ran about 600 vertical feet. Weather: Few clouds, calm winds, mild temps above the inversion. Snowpack: Still getting abundant collapses while breaking trail in untrafficked terrain. Persistent slab structure was about 18″ thick on average. Below ~10,000′, the slabs are so weak and faceted that the collapses only radiating a few yards (on northeast aspects). On east aspects at these lower elevations, we got a few collapses that propagated up to 20′ or so where there is a crust at the 12/10…

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Avy 1 Snodgrass Observation Tour

Date of Observation: 01/07/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass – Upper Open Shot between 3rd bowl & Abbey Lane Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,500   Avalanches: None observed Weather: Temp: Mid 20’s Sky: Few Wind: Calm Precip: none Snowpack: Snow Pit: Aspect: NE Elevation: 10,500 Slope Angle: 28 HS: 84cm Multiple CT Moderate results (12,12, 14) Broken fracture in facets 49cm down (35cm) ECTN Mid pack is losing strength and faceting out Only had one sign of instability throughout tour. Had multiple shooting cracks near a steeper roll near the bottom of our first fun in a shallow area.  …

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Coneys

Date of Observation: 01/07/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: 2nd bowl Aspect: North East Elevation: Coneys   Avalanches: No avalanches seen or any sign of instability Weather: Clear baby, some would say warm!! Snowpack: In a word weak! I feel we are teetering on full facet top to bottom. What was perhaps a supportably snow pack, is slowly turning to a weak unconsolidated, trap door facet monster. Its nothing unusual for us, but with the surface hoar developing and continued cold temps, we are setting ourselves up for potential problems with more snow load.  …

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Few more shooting cracks in Washington Gulch

Date of Observation: 01/06/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Gothic Mountain Aspect: West, North West Elevation: 10,500ft to 11,200ft Weather: Northwesterly winds moving snow at upper elevations, otherwise calm conditions where we traveled. Few clouds. Snowpack: Traveled on west to northwest facing slopes below treeline. With some extra effort and a few heavy bounces, we were repeatably able to produce collapses and some long-running shooting cracks. These results were primarily failing on the early December facets. Those cracks ran into slope angels that reached up to about 35 degrees and sometimes displaced a couple of inches. A steeper or unsupported slope may have been necessary for an avalanche to release. We didn’t have the confidence to climb higher in the terrain…

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Southerly avalanches

Date of Observation: 01/06/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Mt. Baldy Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: Above treeline Avalanches: Observed 3 overnight natural avalanches on Mt. Baldy. One broke in Paradise Bolw on a west aspect, the other two broke on easterly-facing terarain. All three were continuing to load during the day and the crowns filled in during the day. We triggered two D2 avalanches in currently wind-loaded terrain. One triggered slide broke remotely on an alpine southeast-facing slope while we traversed a ridgeline above. It broke 1-2 feet deep, stepping into a layer of near surface facets below the recent interface. The other slide broke directly underfoot with some heavy stepping. We expected that we might remote trigger the…

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Gothic South

Date of Observation: 01/06/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Shoulder South Aspect: South, South West, West Elevation: 9,000-11,400 Avalanches: Only fresh avalanche observed was ~D1.5 on Baldy, off a windloaded southerly facing slope ATL. Likely will be reported by others closer to Baldy today. Weather: Relatively cold morning, strong solar, moderate westerly winds ATL. Snowpack: Several large collapses on flat terrain on Washington Gulch valley bottoms. More signs on instability on southerly, low angle terrain but NO signs of instability on southerly slopes with more slope angle. Travelled slopes up to 31º today. Steeper solar aspects were moist by 1300 and rollerballs and small wet loose out of warm, southerly facing terrain on Gothic. Dug one pit on low angle…

CB Avalanche Center

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Snodgrass study plot 1/4

Date of Observation: 01/04/2021 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Southeast Mountains Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,000 Snowpack: As of 1/4/21, the HS at the study plot (NE, 10,000) is 71 cm. 13 cm of F to 4F snow sits at the top of the snowpack. This layer represents the newer storm snow that fell over the past 10 days which buried the 12/26 interface @ 58 cm. Below the 12/26 interface lies 10 more cm of 4F- snow leading to a buried NSF layer at 48 cm (12/22 interface). This interface initiated failure during an ECT test but did not propagate. 13 cm below the 12/22 interface is our old friend the 12/10 interface. This layer, which is 35 cm thick,…

CBAC

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Snodgrass lap

Date of Observation: 01/05/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass north side Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,400′ – 11,100′ Avalanches: Intentionally triggered a couple small loose avalanches on very steep features below ridgetop, just below 11,000′. Weather: Mostly cloudy skies with snowfall rates between s-1 and s2. Several short periods of moderate snow. Accumulations as of 3pm around 4 inches. Snowpack: Traveled above numerous northerly terrain features, many of which avalanched in December, without collapsing or signs of instability. Descended northerly slopes up to about 35 with no signs of instability. Traveled through some lower angled slopes that looked to have seen little traffic yet this winter without collapsing. One hasty pit showed a snowpack largely composed of fist…

CBAC

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Purple Ridge

Date of Observation: 01/04/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Purple ridge skin track Aspect: East Elevation: 10,500   Avalanches: None observed Weather: Clear, cool, calm Snowpack: The party of three discussed the days plan after all looking at the CBAC danger forecast. Purple Ridge. We knew there may be hazards in the snowpack and we decided to check it out. As we toured up the skin track, we heard several large collapses and observed cracking, The discussion was honest and open. We felt we could find a safe route up to the ridge and hoped the snowpack would become deeper and more stable the higher we went. Purple ridge had slid significantly during the last snow event. If we could…

CB Avalanche Center

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Collapsing with diminishing propagation

Date of Observation: 01/04/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: East Beckwith Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 9,600 – 11,500′   Avalanches: Nothing fresh, some D2 slab activity from last cycle. Weather: Few clouds, light winds. Snowpack: Less than an inch of new snow overnight preserved large grained surface hoar on the near and below treeline slopes that we visited. There was enough wind in exposed locations to destroy it. Still getting semi-frequent collapses below treeline and a few collapses near treeline. The latter triggered by second person on skin track or from hard stomps. The collapses didn’t produce much for shooting cracks, but judging off of how far away trees were shaking, it seems that most radiated less than 20…

CBAC

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Valley bottom, Slate Rive Valley in the inversion zone

Date of Observation: 01/04/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Below Climax Chutes Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 8,900′ – 9,300′   Avalanches: Nothing new to report Weather: Mostly clear skies, reasonable air temps, but guessing a fair bit cooler than areas above the inversion. Snowpack: Very short tour walking about near valley bottom below Climax Chutes at the low end of Slate River Valley. Checked on snowpack where I would expect slabs to facet the quickest on shaded slopes. Ski pen was generally 6 to 8 inches with snowpack depth around 70cm (a bit more than 2 feet). Walked through areas with no previous traffic and only produced one notable collapse but stomped/jumped in many places looking for one.…

CBAC

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Elkton

Date of Observation: 01/03/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Elkton area Aspect: South East, South, South West, West Elevation: Near and Above Treeline   Avalanches: One tiny fresh wind slab off the Treasury to Galena ridge. Weather: Ridgeline Wind Speed: 10-20 mph Ridgeline Wind Direction: NW Wind Loading: Previous Temperature: 15 F Sky Cover: Few Weather Description: Clouds increased late morning through the afternoon. Light to moderate northwest winds. Snowpack: Travelled over alpine south and southeast-facing slopes. Near treeline we travelled on east through south to west. No cracking or collapsing observed. A week ago on a similar route in the same terrain collapsing was common near treeline, but not above. Overnight northwest winds transported snow only near alpine ridgelines.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Large Remote Trigger

Date of Observation: 01/03/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Ridge btwx West Brush Creek and Deer Creek trail Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 9.5k-11.1k   Avalanches: R2D2 unintentional remote trigger. About 150 feet away from low angle ridgeline. E aspect. 150 ft wide running 1200 vert. Avg crown 65cm with deepest portions reaching 95cms. Slope angle averaged 37 degrees but propagated onto angles as low as 34 in start zone. Shattering cracks on 31-32 degree slopes adjacent to slide path. Ran on 1-2mm facet capped crust. 1F hardness throughout majority of slab w/ 4f nearing the top from recent transport. This avalanche was small relative to the path but I am certain was unsurvivable. It ran through countless trees,…

CB Avalanche Center

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Hunting a Dragon

Date of Observation: 01/03/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Far Side Coney’s Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West Elevation: Up to 11,000′   Avalanches: No new ones observed. Weather: Mod winds NW Morning sun had warmed S and SE surfaces Snow flurries through the afternoon, no accumulation noted Snowpack: Several collapses on untracked W-facing slopes BTL, none observed on the untracked E and NE BTL slopes we traveled on. NE aspect at 10,800′ had HS of 85cm, but much greater if you looked for wind-loaded pockets right below the ridgeline along Coney’s. ECTN24 down 50cm on 12/10 interface PST 45/100 END down 50cm on 12/10 interface  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Washington Gulch Crack

Date of Observation: 01/03/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Washington Gulch-Snodgrass T.H. Aspect: West, North West Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: NA. Didn’t hunt for slides on Gothic or Anthracite Mesa. Weather: For the majority of the day, mostly cloudy and calm in our area. Snowpack: cracking within 10 to 15 of new and old skin tracks on slopes <20 degrees. Cracks were less than 15 feet in length and not dendritic. Snow is not supportive as boot pen is about 14 inches. One whump was heard by group when moving from the road to the hillslope between the road and spruce fir forest.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Irwin Obs

Date of Observation: 01/01/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: below Round Two, Irwin Aspect: West Elevation: 11,100′   Avalanches: SS-AS-R1-D1-O 50 to 60cm deep, 50′ wide, and ran 150′ triggered on Friday (1/1/2021) Weather: Light to Mod southwest winds scattered clouds and around 17F. Snowpack: NTL west aspect- 50 to 110cm HS, with a pencil to knife hard mid-pack layer and about 25cm of depth hoar on the ground. BTL west aspect sheltered from the wind- 80cm HS with 4F- mid-pack and about 25cm of depth hoar at the base.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Faceted

Date of Observation: 01/03/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracite Region Aspect: North East Elevation: 9200 Avalanches: No evidence of recent Avalanche Activity Weather: Calm cold and Humid up high Snowpack: Skiing 30 degrees or less and still whumphing in certain areas of the snowpack on the uphill .. our lovely persistant slab issue I suspect. Widespread faceting and surface hoar:Faceted snow refers to snow grains within the snowpack that have transformed into larger, angular grains. Facets have weak bonds with neighboring snow grains. If you don’t care about the consequences , get beyond yourself and consider the danger you put others in when you need to be rescued.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Ruby Range

Date of Observation: 01/02/2021 Name: Evan Ross Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Ruby Range Aspect: South East, South Elevation: 10,700-12,600 Weather: Low clouds in the morning obscured the range, as those moved out a high cloud shield moved over for the mid day, with clearing in the afternoon. Increased winds were the main weather factor. Moderate speeds from the NW. Snowpack: Snow surfaces that looked beautiful the last few days, had gotten affected by the recent increase in winds. In our case slopes that had the best SE to E tilt held soft snow surfaces, while some more southerly slopes had been blown back to old soft crusts or soft wind texture. Probably just due to the way the winds flowed…

CBAC

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Skier Triggered Slide on Axtel

Date of Observation: 01/02/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: First Bowl Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 11,350 Avalanches: 1 Skier Triggered D2 (red arrow). On our first lap (green arrow) we noticed no real signs of instability (no collapsing or cracking). Our stability tests were benign and our ski cuts produced no results. On our second lap while descending the ridge towards our intended chute, we noted that the snow seemed significantly more faceted and had a “trapdoor feel”. Skier 1 skied approx. 150ft into the chute before pulling out into the trees. Skier two followed and while making a final turn out of the chute to regroup with skier one, triggered the slide and was carried approx. 50ft downslope…

CB Avalanche Center

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Stubborn Collapses

Date of Observation: 01/02/2021 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: BTL Weather: Winds calm to light BTL Skies clear to scattered Snowpack: Still observed multiple collapses but some much more stubborn than in past days. One collapse occurred while the group was taking a break, and people were standing and moving around, and then someone found the right spot and the whole meadow dropped. We dug at 10,900 feet on a NE aspect that was very sheltered and near the dark timber. HS 80cm 35cm F hard FC, 20cm 1F- mixed forms (12/10 storm), 25cm F-4F DF/FC (12/28 storm) CT19 down 25cm (12/10 interface) and CT25 SC down 45cm (Nov FC) ECTN29 down 45cm ECTN24…

CB Avalanche Center

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Quieting snowpack

Date of Observation: 01/02/2021   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Poverty Gulch Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,600 – 12,200   Avalanches: One small natural wind slab that ran last night or this morning (E, NTL). No other fresh avalanches observed. Weather: Moderate winds with light transport. Clouds increased through the day with a few snow flurries this afternoon. Snowpack: Skinned, snowmobiled, stomped, and skied on dozens of previously untrammeled low angled slopes (mostly near/below treeline) without any obvious signs of instability today, in stark contrast to just about every tour in the past few weeks. It appears as if the snowpack in this deeper part of the zone is moving to a low likelihood, high consequence persistent slab problem.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Small persistent slab

Date of Observation: 01/02/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Walrod Gulch trail Aspect: South East Elevation: 10,185   Avalanches: See photo.  It looked like it was triggered by an animal, as a line of tracks led to the break.  Skin tracks headed north on the trail were buried by debris but were present on the other side.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Cement Mountain West Ridge Avalanche ob

Date of Observation: 01/02/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: West ridge-Cement Mountain Aspect: North East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: Observed a recent storm slab avalanche with unknown trigger but likely natural due to wind loading from strong SW winds during the night of 12/28-12/29 and additional snowfall with 1 inch of SWE (12/29/20 archive CBAC Weather) on a shallow snowpack in the SE zone. That’s a guess. Figure its in the R2-D2 category but cannot be certain from today’s vantage point across the Cement Creek Valley. Weather: light winds and overcast. Snowpack: Just skiing the road due to non supportive snow in the area. Surface hoar is widespread and has a length of at least 2mm.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Unintentional triggered persistent slab

Date of Observation: 01/01/2021 Zone: Northwest Mountains Aspect: West Elevation: BTL Avalanches: See photos.…

CBAC

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Upper Cement

Date of Observation: 01/01/2021   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Upper Cement Creek Aspect: North East, East, West Elevation: Near and below treeline to 11,800′   Avalanches: This area got about 6″ of snow from Monday night’s storm and we saw limited evidence of natural activity from storm. A few D1 to 1.5s on easterly aspects. No avalanches triggered today. Weather: Increasing clouds, a snowflake or two, light winds. Snowpack: In Lower Cement, the persistent slab structure is poorly developed without enough snow to make a slab. As we gained elevation further up the basin (around 10,000′ near Block and Tackle trail), we started noticing shooting cracks and collapses. The slab is soft and a foot thick over fist hard depth…

CBAC

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Slate River

Date of Observation: 01/01/2021 Name: Evan Ross Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate River Aspect: North East Elevation: 9,000-11,400ft Weather: The clouds came and then went again. Calm winds. Nothing notable. Snowpack: The snowpack in this area is really variable given all the past avalanche activity it has seen throughout December. So it’s hard to make a call on the general stability. We traveled more aggressively on steep slopes where we had high confidence there wasn’t a current persistent slab avalanche problem due to past activity. We kept it real conservative where the conditions were unknown or undisturbed. The 12/10 interface remained the primary layer of concern. The more recent 12/22 layer of facets was observable, but we didn’t encounter any particular…

CBAC

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Strong slab on SE facing terrain

Date of Observation: 12/31/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Washington Gulch Aspect: South East Elevation: 11,500   Avalanches: We did not observe any new slides. Weather: Clear, calm, and gorgeous. Snowpack: We traveled on south through east facing terrain to the east of Elkton and felt routine collapsing on and off the skin track. Most notably, our pit showed a relatively firm (1 finger plus, almost pencil hard) slab resting on 40cm of basal facets. Test results on this interface were hard to trigger (CT 22- resistant, and ECTX), however they propagated easily (PST 34/100 end). The slab was stubborn and sturdy, but still scary. As if to drive the point home, after demolishing our pit I stepped aside and…

CB Avalanche Center

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Brush Creek TH area – collapse city and remotely-trigger avalanche

Date of Observation: 12/31/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Low elevation east-facing terrain at bottom of Mount Crested Butte above East River Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,000 – 9,800′   Avalanches: Remotely trigged 3 very small D1’s on east-northeast aspect from a single collapse that propagated around 300-400 feet Remotely trigger a D2 avalanche from about ~500 feet away that traveled through several terrain features and mature aspen groves Weather: Snowpack: Slopes very near valley bottom felt incredibly weak and produced regular collapsing but only traveled 20 or so feet. As I ascended just a few hundred feet above valley bottom on east and northeast terrain, the collapsing started to propagate hundreds of feet to slope scale size.…

CBAC

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Large remote triggered persistent slab

Date of Observation: 12/31/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Mount Emmons Aspect: North, North East, North West Elevation: 9000’ to 12,200’ Avalanches: Remotely triggered a large (D2) persistent slab from about 350 feet away. The slab was about 3 feet thick and 300 feet wide, on a north aspect above treeline. Handful of previously unreported natural persistent slabs to add to the list from the last cycle. D2 up Peeler basin (E, ATL) and several D2s in Wolverine and Redwell Basin (NW, NTL). Weather: Partly cloudy midday with clear skies on either end. Light winds Snowpack: Large, rumbling collapses on low angle terrain still the norm on almost every open slope or small clearing in trees. Collapses are getting a…

CBAC

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Bluebird views

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coney’s Aspect: North East Elevation: N/BTL Avalanches: Good views of the leeward aspects of the Northwest Mountains. Plenty of evidence of storm slab instabilities that ran throughout the storm, D1 to D2. A few slides looked like they broke into deeper layers, up to D2.5. Attached photos highlight the largest or most interesting activity. We triggered a small storm slab (1 foot thick) on a rollover. Weather: Clear, cold, calm winds. Snowpack: Stepping off the beaten track we got frequent rumbling collapses and shooting cracks on basal weak layers. On shady aspects, we also got cracking at the storm snow interface about a foot down.  …

CBAC

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Avalanche Hunting

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Southeast Mountains/ Northwest Mountain   Avalanches: Many avalanches from D1-D2.5 were observed at all elevation bands in both the Southeast and Northwest Mountains. Some failed around the new/old interface with crowns around a foot thick while others failed on the 12/10 interface with crowns 2-4 ft thick. East aspects were the most active benefiting from the combination of fragile buried weak layers and loading from recent westerly winds. Check out the pics below for a better idea of what failed and where. Weather: Sunny skies, moderate to strong NW winds were observed in the upper Cement area with snow transport along ridges and peaks early this morning.     [/gravityforms]…

CB Avalanche Center

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Email ob from Red Lady skin-track

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Aspect: South East Elevation:   Avalanches: The photo below was taken at approximately 11 am on Wednesday, 12/30. From the skin track on Red Lady above tree line, a party of three of us saw two skiers come down the bowl, stop for a while in the circled spot, and remotely triggered the slide spotted lookers left to them maybe a minute or two after they had stopped there. We weren’t sure if they had stopped there for a particular reason and/or if they had noticed the remote slide. (Submitted by CBAC Forecaster from an email) Weather: Snowpack:   Photos:  …

CBAC

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Evans Basin

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Evans Basin steep easterly shots Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 9,500′ – 11,200′   Avalanches: A couple of avalances in steep southeast terrain in Red Lady glades – near treeline type features. Look like storm slabs running on the old crust. Likely failed very early AM of 29th. One D2 at the very end of Moonscape Ridge by Evans basin – ENE-facing very drifted BTL feature Weather: Ugly cold at valley bottom in the morning, but comfortable temps near and below treeline in the sun. No snow transport observed on nearby high terrain. Snowpack: Solar radiation moistened the snow surface on SE, S, and SW slopes up to 11,200′. Made…

CBAC

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Gothic obs

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,500   Avalanches: A couple fresh naturals ran today near the snodgrass gothic saddle sometime between 10 and 2 and saw another older slide below gothic road closer to the snodgrass trailhead Weather: Snowpack: Talkative. Large collapses if going off the ski track  …

CB Avalanche Center

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RMBL Study Plot 12/30/20

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Townsite Aspect: Elevation: 9500   Avalanches: Weather: Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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frequent shooting cracks & collapses RLG

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: RLG to Gravel Pit Aspect: East, South East, South, South West Elevation: 9,400-12,000   Avalanches: 4 older avalanches from ~10,800-11,200. from tail end of storm around 1-2 inches of snow on the old debris/bed surface in the “W” bowl between standard skin track easy glade line. Weather: Snowpack: Barking snowpack. Can’t move without Small to Large collapses skiing in less disturbed areas. Shooting cracks 3-15m NTL & BTL SE-S-SW all the way down to Kebler road. Slopes cracking up to ~38* but not releasing. Seeing some aggressive terrain choices out there for how vocal the snowpack is. Via con dios amigos.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Purple People Eater

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate drainage Aspect: East, South East Elevation: ATL   Avalanches: A lot of natural avalanches, huge on purple and one on gothic. Weather: Snowpack: Shooting cracks and a couple large collapses while breaking trail.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Nasty natural

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Upper slate Aspect: North, North East Elevation:   Avalanches: Observed a new large natural in Baxter basin. Weather: Cold and clear. Traveling uphill on southerly slopes was very warm but with little discernible change in snow surface. Snowpack: Traveling up hill through north facing terrain produced several large and rumbling collapses with shooting cracks running hundreds of feet (see photo). Skiing southwest terrain we traveled through 12 to 15 inches of consolidating storm overlying a stout sun crust.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Morning avalanche obs

Date of Observation: 12/30/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Scarp, Peeler, and Gothic Aspect: North East, East Elevation: ATL   Avalanches: See photos. Several slab avalanches D2, maybe up to D2.5 on E and NE aspects ATL that likely ran early yesterday.  …

CBAC

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Avalanche obs on Whetstone from the highway

Date of Observation: 12/29/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Whetstone Mountain Aspect: North East, East Elevation: near and above treeline   Avalanches: Observed natural avalanche on Whetstone at 945am. Several avalanches on far southern end near CB south on east and northeast aspects near treeline, D1-D2 D2 avalanche in Barcelona Bowl NE aspect above treeline D2 in Lucky Boy Bowl NE aspect near treeline Several of these avalanches appeared to be shallow storm slabs that “stepped down” into deeper persistent weak layers Photos:  …

CBAC

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Small Ski/Remote triggered slide at Coney’s

Date of Observation: 12/29/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coney’s Nose Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,800   Avalanches: Ski triggered/remote small D1 slide in the steeper section near the right of Coney’s nose. Was skiing the lower angle terrain and a small slide broke to my right and ran to the tree line. No one was caught. Slide slid on the early season snow 10–20 cm of large facets on the ground, broke around the shrubbery. (see photos) Weather: Temp: Mid 20’s Sky: Partly cloudy Wind: light Precip: S -1 Snowpack: Had a few collapses in undisturbed areas throughout our skin. Did not see any other avalanche activity beside our isolated slide. Multiple folks slaying Coney’s today skiing the main…

CB Avalanche Center

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Larger Than Expected Propagations

Date of Observation: 12/29/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red Coon Glades Aspect: South East Elevation: 11,100K   Avalanches: Lots of collapsing, and long shooting cracks. We climbed and “skied” terrain less than about 31 degrees. Nearing the 30 degree angle (+/- a degree or two) nearly everything collapsed and fractured. We sent continuous cracks nearly 200 ft across one slope, a distance that surprised us (see picture). There were numerous other slopes where cracks travelled 50+ft. All moving snow seemed to break at the interface between the last few days’ storm slab and the older decomposing snow from previous weeks. Weather: Occasional light breeze mostly near and above treeline, intermittent cloud cover, ~10-20F, light snow. Snowpack: Snow depths varied…

CB Avalanche Center

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More persistent slabs

Date of Observation: 12/29/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Gunsight road Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,000 Avalanches: Intentionally triggered several road banks and small steeper rolls. All D1-1.5. Persistent slab problem was very reactive today. Poor vis limited obs in other areas. Weather: Warmest in the morning with cold temps in the afternoon. Light snow and light winds throughout the day with maybe an additional inch or two of accumulation. Snowpack: It’s broke. Multiple large booming collapses. Many shooting cracks. Surprisingly some steeper slopes around 35* cracked but did not slide. Snowpack was less reactive in areas that slide last week.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7 a.m.

Date of Observation: 12/29/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Avalanches: No visibility to see if any slide activity. Weather: There was 10½” new snow with water total of 0.75″ as the snowpack sits at 32½”. Wind is calm now and the snowfall has stopped. Mild with yesterday’s high 24ºF and the current is the morning low of 11º.  …

CBAC

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Large naturals on hidden lake bowl on Whetstone

Date of Observation: 12/29/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Hidden lake bowl Whetstone Aspect: North Elevation: 12,200 Avalanches: Multiple large natural avalanches spotted from 135. Weather: Tail end of storm system.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Storm obs from Slate

Date of Observation: 12/29/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate River drainage Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,000 to 11,200 ft Avalanches: Decent storm slab cycle last night from Happy to Climax to Schuylkill Ridge along with a few persistent slab avalanches Happy Chutes: Lots of small slabs and sluffs, mostly D1. A D2 persistent slab Climax: Debris through several of the chokes, looked like more shallow storm snow instabilities but light was flat, probably D1.5 to D2. Schuylkill: Numerous storm slabs about a foot deep that ran near to the bench, D1.5 to D2. Two small persistent slabs on lower rollers that either ran last night or today. We remotely triggered two small persistent slabs on small terrain features,…

CBAC

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Cement Creek new snow

Date of Observation: 12/29/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Elevation: 9250 Weather: 5” new snow overnight.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Lower Snodgrass

Date of Observation: 12/28/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Lower Snodgrass Aspect: North East Elevation: 9800   Avalanches: None noted Weather: Light snow throughout the day with even lighter winds. Mild temps felt like low 20’s. New snow accumulation of about 3-4” from overnight and through the day. Snowpack: Weak AF. There is about a foot and a half of snow where we were. 4” below the surface is a thin buried weak layer (suspect SH/SF) which popped out in CT tests but did now propagate in ECTs. This will be another one to watch with this incoming storm or the next. Midway through the snowpack is the horribly weak weak layer. 2-4mm facets. This was resting on a 2”…

CB Avalanche Center

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A lot of bark and some bite too

Date of Observation: 12/28/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Road Aspect: East Elevation: Below treeline   Avalanches: Intentionally triggered a couple of small persistent slabs, about 15″ thick and up to 50 feet wide on small terrain features, failing on fist hard facets near the ground. Weather: Light snowfall mid-afternoon started picking up in intensity to S2 around 3:30 p.m as we were leaving. Calm winds. Snowpack: About 3″ of new snow so far. Frequent rumbling collapses and shooting cracks traveling about 30 to 50 feet. Slabs were somewhat discontinuous across terrain due to previous wind loading and scouring effects. It was easy to trigger collapses in the transition from stiffer, supportive snow to unsupportive, softer snow or vice…

CBAC

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Irwin

Date of Observation: 12/28/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Tenure Avalanches: SS-ASc-D1.5-O 40cmx5mx100m Thorntons. Remaining persistent slab is notably more resistant to triggers than last week. This past weeks skiff of new snow sluffs easily off old bed surfaces. Anticipate repeat offenders. Snowpack: Continued local collapsing in previously untrammeled areas.  …

CBAC

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The many shades of Yellow

Date of Observation: 12/27/2020 Name: Zach Kinler Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Evans Basin Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 9300′-11,000′ Avalanches: No recent activity Weather: Mostly sunny and pleasant on this afternoon tour. Winds were calm in sheltered areas. Highs remained below freezing. Snowpack: The snowpack is still grumbling a bit, like a Stubborn old man sending back soup at the deli. There are a few steep slopes that have not avalanched and SOME of them produced collapses and cracking while others did not. The slopes that cracked did not run. Sensitivity has decreased however specific areas require thoughtful evaluation. 2-3″ new snow. Toured mainly on aspects from S through E. HS 60-70cm in sheltered terrain. Recent crusts from 12/22…

CB Avalanche Center

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Snowpack still chatty up Bush Creek

Date of Observation: 12/27/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: West Brush Creek Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,900-11,800′   Avalanches: Skier triggered a persistent slab avalanche on an east aspect BTL. The slab didn’t propagate widely (about 20 feet) and was about a foot thick, small in size. In steep, sheltered terrain that has previously avalanched, we triggered several small dry loose avalanches to the ground. Noted a crisp looking crown above East River (east aspect BTL, D1) that seems as if it could have run last night. It was triggered by a sluff from above. Noted a handful of older slab avalanches that ran during the wind event a few days ago on leeward aspects near treeline. Weather: Clouds…

CBAC

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 12/27/2020 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Cloudy and windy most of the night with scattered light snow, as it clears and wind stops around 5 a.m.  Total new snow a scant 1″ with 0.06″ of water and snowpack at 21½”.  Temperature range from a high of 35ºF to a low, and the current, of 14.  Now partly cloudy with a light breeze. The snowpack is awful with a very rotten base and now a sizable surface hoar build-up.  In the meantime the snowpack continues to collapse.  A big snowstorm will make things interesting, and very dangerous.…

CBAC

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Bits and pieces

Date of Observation: 12/26/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate River to Poverty Gulch Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9000′ – 11600′   Avalanches: A grouping of small loose avalanches near treeline on southwest aspect – guessing wet from warm weather on Christmas Persistent Slab on west aspect of Baldy – few days old, likely from wind event on Wednesday/Thursday timeframe Weather: Pleasant above the inversion zone with calm winds below treeline and light winds near treeline – no blowing snow observed Snowpack: Just a rec ski day with no signs of instability underfoot on steep southwest slopes, or lower-angled easterly slopes. Not many slopes in the alpine in this area looked like good…

CBAC

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Avy Problem becoming more specific and stubborn

Date of Observation: 12/26/2020 Zone: Northwest Mountains Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,500-12,000 Weather: Pleasant temps above the inversions, calm wind, clear sky. Snowpack: Primary traveled N and NE, with just a little E. Primary traveling just above, or through, start zones on Axtell. While checking on the Persistent Slab Avalanche Problem. In this terrain, the slabs have become more specific, borderline isolated, and were stubborn to trigger. The previous wind has damaged many of these slopes at all elevations. Outside of checking on this avalanche problem, I would have no desire to otherwise recreate in this area given the below-average snowpack and snow quality. Below Treeline: The slabs are fading away. Especially below about 10,500ft. Potential avalanche problems at…

CBAC

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Splains Gulch

Date of Observation: 12/26/2020 Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Kebler Pass Area Location: Splains Gulch Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9400′-10400′   Avalanches: Two small (D.5 and D1), older avalanches that failed on the 12/10 interface at some point over the last two weeks. The slides failed on small convexities on east-facing slopes below treeline. Weather: Bluebird. Mild temps. Little to no wind. Snowpack: We traveled mostly on E aspects below treeline. The snow depth ranged from 60-80 cm. Recently developed surface hoar is widespread below 10,000′, and spotty above that. While touring on a common skintrack, we did not notice any collapsing or whumphing. After venturing off the skin track a short distance, we still did not get any visual…

CB Avalanche Center

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Cement Creek Christmas Snowmo tour

Date of Observation: 12/25/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Road Aspect: North East, East, South East, South, South West, West Elevation: 9000′ – 11000′   Avalanches: Cement Mountain – large avalanche above treeline in North Bowl, crown drifted over but flanks still visible D2 Hunter Hill – thin slab on SE aspect near treeline D1.5 Italian Mountain – debris visible in southwest gully, D1 Weather: Clear, cold low in drainage with much warmer temps at head of valley, no wind below treeline Snowpack: Traveled along Cement Creek Rd. to look around at snow depths and get a general impression of conditions from snowmobile by glassing terrain with binos. Checked snow depth and snow water equivalent in two locations:…

CBAC

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Merry Collapsemas

Date of Observation: 12/25/2020 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Aspect: North East Elevation: N/BTL Avalanches: No recent avalanches. Plenty of older ones. Weather: Beautiful day: few clouds, mild temps, calm winds. Snowpack: Stepping off the skintrack in a heavily trafficked area, got several audible collapses, but certainly not as reactive as some previous tours where we have been breaking trail. The brief bit of travel I did into untracked areas (NTL) produced a few large collapses. Small grained surface hoar growth overnight on the surface of shady aspects. Quick handpit on south facing slope shows some small faceting below the most recent suncrust (12/22). The crust was about an inch thick on a 25* slope. Feels like the slab is…

CBAC

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Anthracite Mesa

Date of Observation: 12/24/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Anthracite Mesa – terrain features just up valley of Coney’s proper Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: 9,500′ – 10,800′   Avalanches: some evidence of moving snow in Rock Creek bowl on Baldy (southeasterly above treeline), but too far away to see any reportable details. Weather: Cold morning at valley bottom, but temps warmed to a comfortable level by midday. Winds were light below treeline and at 10,800′ ridgeline. Blowing snow was visible on several high peaks but hard to say how much loading actually occured. Winds looked to be from N/NW loading terrain that faced south and east. Snowpack: Traveled on heavily trafficked uptrack, but traveled out of this…

CBAC

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Still Sketchy

Date of Observation: 12/24/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: LJ Aspect: South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9.4-10.6   Avalanches: Repeater path on purple ridge, Natural (photo from SL) Saw another large D2 sized natural on the E facing ridge near Angel Pass. We were very far away, no photo. Weather: Clear and cold in the morning. Temps were around zero at the TH at 900 and made it into the mid twenties by 2p. Wind was calm overall in areas we traveled but large plumes from Northerly winds were transporting large amounts of snow above the S Baldy bowl for much of the morning. NTL and ATL terrain that has any western tilt has been ravaged by the…

CB Avalanche Center

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Crackatoa

Date of Observation: 12/24/2020 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mount Emmons Aspect: North, North East Elevation: N/BTL Avalanches: Ski triggered a few thin windslabs (5”-10” thick) breaking on the 12/22 near surface facets. Ski triggered a small persistent slab (16” thick, 12/10 interface) on a small terrain feature. Saw one fresh natural wind slab in Wolverine Cirque (D1.5) Weather: Clear and calm Snowpack: Widespread rolling collapses and shooting cracks while breaking trail in open terrain or aspen groves. Cracks radiated 50 to 100 feet on average, collapses were noisier than a similar location last week. Below treeline, the 12/10 interface is buried about 16″ by a F down to 4F slab.  The 12/22 near surface facets produced some minor cracking in wind…

CBAC

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New natural

Date of Observation: 12/24/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Purple ridge Aspect: North, North East Elevation:   Avalanches: New natural observed on purple ridge. Weather: Calm, clear and cold Snowpack: Observed new natural on purple ridge from across the valley. It appeared to entrain only drifted storm snow and did not step down. This same path ran on or around 12/13. Crown and flanks looked to be softened, maybe it ran yesterday or the night before but was in the clouds until this morning?  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Snodgrass Accident Report

The accident investigation from the Snodgrass avalanche incident on December 15, 2020 is available here. We do our best to describe avalanche accidents to help the people involved and the community as a whole better understand them with the hope that it will help people avoid future avalanche accidents. Thanks to everyone who responded to this incident and helped improve the outcome, and thank you to the party involved for sharing their story to turn it into a learning opportunity for all of us.…

CBAC

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Reactive Snow Continues at Coney’s Mountain Resort

Date of Observation: 12/23/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Anthracite Mesa Aspect: East Elevation: 10800   Avalanches: Visibility was fairly limited during most of our tour today. We weren’t able to get many solid views on surrounding mountains, thus unable to observe any recent activity on adjacent terrain. However, the views we were able to get of the west facing terrain on Gothic demonstrated the recent winds have stripped much of the snow in the usual spots and have cross loaded the other usual features. Weather: Overcast with occasional periods of obscured sun. Variable winds, average winds during our tour was probably 10 mph with the highest gusts in the 20-30 mph range. Winds were cold and mainly out of…

CB Avalanche Center

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Large Remotely Triggered Avalanche

Date of Observation: 12/23/2020 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Purple Ridge Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,500-11,300 Avalanches: Remotely triggered a large Persistent Slab Avalanche. NE Aspect, 10,450ft. This avalanche failed on, or very near, an up route that is typically used to access the Purple Palace. The crown was estimated to be about 2.5ft thick, propagated a couple hundred feet wide and ran about 800ft to the creek below. SS-ASr-R2-D2-O Weather: Cold, S-1 snow through the day, overcast and obscured sky. Strong winds picking up in afternoon and transporting snow throughout the tour at all elevations. Snowpack: The terrain was less ravaged by the previous wind event than expected. Still plenty of wind erosion, and wind-loaded…

CBAC

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Crack, Crack, Crack, Collapse

Date of Observation: 12/23/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek (Deadman to Reno Divide Road) Aspect: West, North West Elevation: BTL   Avalanches: None. Couldn’t see anything on Cement Mountain (north bowl). Weather: mostly calm with spurts of light and moderate winds. Moderate winds lasted less than 1 minute transporting new snow from creek to adjacent hillslopes. Skies were obstructed. S-1 snowfall with no measurable accumalation. Snowpack: Between 1 to 2 inches of new snow was on the ground. Total snow depth ranged between 12 inches and 28 inches (30 cm to 71 cm). Cracking occurred on all slopes explored: 1. above the road (15 to 20 degrees on East aspect near Deadman); 2.below the road (around 30 degrees…

CB Avalanche Center

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Calm and cold

Date of Observation: 12/23/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Pittsburg Aspect: North, North East Elevation:   Avalanches: No new avalanches observed though above treeline terrain was socked in. Weather: Cold, calm and cloudy below tree line. Snowpack: Traveled in below tree line north eastern terrain through three to four inches of storm snow. Storm snow was unconsolidated and low density. We stayed in sheltered below treeline terrain that received little to no drifting.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Date of Observation: 12/23/2020 Zone: Southeast Mountains Weather: Snow started late afternoon though was never more than very light.  Mostly blowing snow that let up by midnight with 1½” new and water 0.13″.  Wind gusts passed 40 mph at the station site and most certainly stronger up valley, though now a more reasonable 5-10 NW.  Currently cloudy with the temp. 4ºF (the morning low) after a high of 34F yesterday.  Snowpack is currently at 22″.  But today is 5 seconds longer than yesterday! (oh my, what to do with all that extra daylight!).…

CBAC

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Fatal Accident Report from Anthracites

The accident investigation from the avalanche fatality that occurred in the Anthracites on December 18th  is available here. We do our best to describe avalanche accidents to help the people involved and the community as a whole better understand them with the hope that it will help people avoid future avalanche accidents. Our condolences go out to the friends, family, and all involved.…

CBAC

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Collapsing & surface hoar…

Date of Observation: 12/22/2020 Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coney’s Aspect: North East Elevation: 9,500-10,800 Avalanches: No avalanches that have not already been reported. Weather: No avalanches that have not already been reported. Snowpack: Upper snowpack is faceting out (again). Widespread (and very large) surface hoar. Lots of collapsing and cracking when travelling off the established skin track. Seems like any convexity over 35 degrees that hasn’t already slid would easily slide. Some small windslabs forming just below the ridgeline. Any slopes with the slightest S aspect have a soft crust.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Snowpack continues to speak

Date of Observation: 12/21/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Sunnier side of Baldy Aspect: East, South East, South, South West, West Elevation: 9,500′ – 11,800′   Avalanches: While heading out Slate River Road noticed two unreported avalanches on the far end of Schuylkill Ridge and the sub-peak of Schuylkill Mountain. Both avalanches were easterly near-treeline features. I suspect they ran on Saturday or Sunday. Both D1.5’s Weather: Sunny day, with mild to warm temperatures with light winds near and below treeline. Snowpack: Recreational ski day just enjoying the sun. Southerly slopes near and below treeline had a soft melt-freeze crust at the surface in the morning that became moist throughout the day (exited terrain by 1pm). I suspect supportive melt/freeze…

CBAC

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Red Lady Crown

Date of Observation: 12/21/2020   Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red Lady Bowl Aspect: East, South East Elevation: 12,200   Avalanches: Looked at the crown of a remotely triggered slab in Red Lady from earlier today (SS-ASr-R1-D1.5-O) on an east-southeast aspect ATL. The slab was 40 cm thick and failed on faceted snow between two thin crusts (12/10 interface). It appears as if the avalanche sympathetically released a smaller slide (D1) a few hundred feet away on an east aspect. Weather: Clear and warm Snowpack: Several rumbling collapses throughout the tour. A 30 degree, east facing test slope, at 10,300ft, also produced shooting cracks throughout the slope.  …

CBAC

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Red Lady Bowl Skier’s Right

Date of Observation: 12/21/2020   Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Red Lady Bowl, Skier’s right side Aspect: East, South East Elevation: 12100   Avalanches: A preliminary report from the roadside: 2 avalanches observed at 0732 in Red Lady Bowl on the skier’s right side of the bowl. One medium, one small slide started near the summit. Unknown if skiers are on the slope Weather: Snowpack:  …

CB Avalanche Center

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12/20 Anthracite Mesa West facing aspects

Date of Observation: 12/20/2020 Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: We were on anthracite Mesa heading up Coney’s. Aspect: West Elevation: Weather: Although weather was clear, we witness some wind loading coming from the north. Snowpack: With the persistent slab snowpack we witnessed layer collapsing on just about every new snow feature we came upon. While ascending one at a time on a slope that measured at about 30 degrees the snow pack collapsed and cracked. Had it been a slope greater than 30 it would have slid.  …

CB Avalanche Center

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Snodgrass

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Saddle to gothic road Date of Observation: 12/20/2020   Subject: Snodgrass Aspect: North East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: Many natural and skier caused slides. Our ski route followed two tracks that led directly into skier initiated D1.5 R1 slide, looked like they skied out. We deviated the route and took a mellow line out. During which we remotely triggered a slide into a gully. Crown looked 12-18” from below (attached photo). My takeaway of the current conditions on Snod is to assume any convex rollover greater than 30 degrees will avalanche if it hasn’t already.…

CB Avalanche Center

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More activity at Irwin and on Owen

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Tenure Date of Observation: 12/20/2020   Subject: More activity at Irwin and on Owen Aspect: West Elevation: NTL Avalanches: Natural activity on East Face of Owen from the recent wind shift: HS/SS-N-R2/D2-O on Owen from last night. Lee (to recent veering) cross-loaded wind slab ran and pushed out a small PS. Broad initial crown running long. Still very touchy above critical slope angles on WW Sunset Left SS-AE-R3-D2-O FC (65cm x 30m x 100m) Sunset left remotely triggered moonrise right Moonrise Right SS-AE-R1-D1-O FC (40cm x 10m x 30m) Moonrise Left —-  Small pocket up high sympathetically triggered far out Weather: Snowpack:…

CB Avalanche Center

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Large Naturals from the Ruby Range

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Ruby Range Date of Observation: 12/20/2020 Name: Zach Kinler Aspect: East Elevation: Above Tree Line Avalanches: This picture from Baxter Basin was passed on to the CBAC sfaff. 2 large persistent slab avalanches on East aspects of Richmond Mt. Both of these initiated from ridgeline and quickly stepped down to weak layers in the lower snowpack. Debris from both avalanches triggered additional slab avalanches lower in the track.    …

CBAC

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Fresh naturals continue

Zone: Northwest Mountains Date of Observation: 12/20/2020   Subject: Fresh naturals continue Aspect: East Elevation: Avalanches: A few apparent wind slabs in steep shallow East facing terrain above Redwell Weather: The wind had been doing some work overnight and during the day today. Snowpack:…

CB Avalanche Center

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Wind slabs

Zone: Northwest Mountains Date of Observation: 12/20/2020 Subject: Wind slabs Aspect: South East, South Elevation: N/ATL Avalanches: Spotted a few more recent persistent slab avalanches fitting the usual pattern. Weather: Moderate ridgetop winds. High clouds thinned through the day. Snowpack: Rec skiing on southerly aspects to take a break from looking at persistent slabs. We had to manage for small windslabs that were easy to identify and avoid. Wind drifted slabs were 8” to 10” thick near treeline, easy to produce cracking on moderate slope angles. Above treeline, wind slabs were up to 18” thick and harder (1F) and more stubborn. These were all cracking on lower density snow from earlier in the week. We also got several rumbling collapses…

CBAC

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A few feet off the skintrack…

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Mt Emmons Date of Observation: 12/20/2020   Subject: A few feet off the skintrack… Aspect: North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9,300-12,300 Avalanches: Remotely triggered (intentional) ENE slope by taking two steps off the skintrack where the slope steepens and the trees thin. D1, but flushed through trees. Observed a natural D1.5 on an east-facing slope across Redwell basin.   Weather: Clear, steady WNW winds at the summit. Snowpack: Fresh windslabs in RL bowl forming just below the ridge at the summit. Lots of collapsing off the skintrack along the ridge. Glades were recycled powder up high, becoming crusty down lower. Redwell basin looked thin and wind-hammered.…

CB Avalanche Center

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shooting cracks & remote triggering of D1’s at coneys

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: valley floor around coneys Date of Observation: 12/20/2020   Subject: shooting cracks & remote triggering of D1’s at coneys Aspect: North East, East, South East, South West, West Elevation: 9800 Avalanches: A couple harmless remotely triggered D1’s as we avoided anything >30* these were ~5-15m away on little rollovers on West aspects Weather: Snowpack: the snowpack was steadily talking on a variety of aspects with shooting cracks ~5-15m once off the valley road on all the aspects we covered: E-SE-S-W. No cracks in thick timber as snow pack was much shallower and just weak.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Kebler

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Pass Road and Anthracites Date of Observation: 12/19/2020   Subject: Kebler Aspect: North East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: A few more freshies to add to the list: Gibson Ridge (D1.5) and Kebler Pass Road (D1), both below treeline. Weather: Moderate northwest winds through the day with drifting snow ongoing. Sunny skies gave way to mostly cloudy skies and light snowfall. Snowpack: Limited travel off of skin track and debris today, be we got several localized collapses on open slopes. Test pits on shady aspects BTL produced easy to moderate propagating results on the 12/10 facet layer, buried by a two foot soft slab. On heavily windloaded terrain, that layer was up to 5 or 6 feet…

CBAC

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Emmons

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Date of Observation: 12/19/2020   Subject: Emmons Aspect: South East, South Elevation: 9,000 -12,000 Avalanches: Two small wind slabs in Red Lady Bowl. One appeared to have been natural and one was from a skier intentionally kicking off cornices. Weather: Sunny and felt cold. Clouds and spitting snow moved in around 3. Mostly calm with sporadic gusting up high. Snowpack: 5” or so of new snow from yesterday. It appeared that the wind hadn’t moved much snow into the bowl in the previous 24 hours. Oddly, on this cold December 19th I had snow clumping to my pole baskets and the snow surfaces was wet on S/SE. When descending around 3:30 the wet surface snow had…

CB Avalanche Center

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Slate River, More Fresh Natural Avalanches

Zone: Northwest Mountains Date of Observation: 12/19/2020 Name: Evan Ross Aspect: South, South West, West Elevation: 9,700-12,000 Avalanches: Several Fresh Natural avalanches from the last 24hrs. East to North-East facing Happy Chutes had multiple D1.5’s and a few D2’s with full feature propagation. Climax may have had a few new avalanches but it’s getting hard to call. It’s such a battle zone of avalanches out there. The next notable couple of avalanches were very fresh. D2 below treeine on Skooks in the great wide open. D2.5 on the Yule Pass to Purple Peak ridge, east-facing above treeline. Weather: Beautiful morning. By mid-day mostly cloudy sky moved in and the winds started transporting snow. Snowpack: We skied steep south and southwest facing…

CB Avalanche Center

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More action

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Tenure Date of Observation: 12/19/2020   Subject: More action Aspect: West Elevation: N/BTL Avalanches: Worked primarily in the West today near and BTL. Paths still running full track with a whiff of a trigger. Ski pressure is more effective than explosives. Many rocks and logs. Full junk show Weather: Wind up high. Solar aspects grew moist.   Photos: [/gravityforms]…

CBAC

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Peanut Lake fresh slides

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Aspen ridge above Peanut Lake Date of Observation: 12/19/2020 Subject: Peanut Lake fresh slides Aspect: East Elevation: 9800 Avalanches: Saw 3 fresh looking avalanches above Peanut Lake Rd. Looked fresh this morning or last night. Weather: Noted upper elevation wind transport loading into Coon Basin. Flagging off of White and Whiterock, Gothic and loading into Axtell Snowpack: Weak AF…

CB Avalanche Center

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Skier trigger, sympathetic, remote

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Date of Observation: 12/19/2020   Subject: Skier trigger, sympathetic, remote Aspect: North East Elevation: 9.6-10.8 Avalanches: We triggered three avalanches on the skiers left exit of coneys “proper” all within about 30 seconds of each other today. Number 1 (top right in photo) was skier triggered from the flank. It released with little energy and the skier was easily able to ski off the slab. R1D1 on a convex roll. This avalanche sympathetically released a R1D2 avalanche approximately 100 yards away (top left of photo). After we regrouped below avalanche number one, we took no more than 2 steps to traverse around the last steep roll and remote triggered the third R2D2 (bottom center) avalanche…

CB Avalanche Center

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Still very touchy out there

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass Date of Observation: 12/19/2020   Subject: Still very touchy out there Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,000 Avalanches: Intentionally triggered one D1 avalanche on a ski cut. Not very big but could have pushed someone into trees if caught off guard Unintentionally triggered one D2 avalanche. Remote triggered from about 50ft above. Large enough to bury a person and ran through trees snapping some baby aspens Weather: Snowpack: Lots of cracking and collapsing everywhere we traveled…

CB Avalanche Center

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The snowpack just sucks

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Near Lake Irwin Date of Observation: 12/18/2020   Subject: This snowpack just sucks Aspect: North East, East, South East, South, West Elevation: N/BTL Avalanches: We remotely triggered a 2.5 foot thick persistent slab on a west aspect near treeline, small in size because it was on small terrain feature. Classic persistent slab behavior: skinned over the convexity expecting to trigger something, but then it went remotely after I was 30 feet away from the slope. We also noted a number of fresh natural slab avalanches below treeline closer to town (small in size), along with a dozen or so similar slides near Lake Irwin that ran earlier in the week, mostly N to E aspects N/BTL.…

CBAC

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3 Fresh Natural Avalanches Below Treeline Washington Gulch

Zone: Northwest Mountains Date of Observation: 12/18/2020 Aspect: East Avalanches: 3, D1.5 to D2 Natural Persistent Slab Avalanches. East Aspect, below treeline.…

CBAC

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Preliminary Report on Anthracite Fatality

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites: Friendly Finish Date of Observation: 12/18/2020   Subject: Preliminary Report on Anthracite Fatality Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,580 feet Avalanches: A solo skier was caught in a large slab avalanche while descending a run known as “Friendly Finish” in the Anthracites. The skier did not survive the avalanche. Preliminary observations suggest that the slab avalanche was several feet thick, likely breaking on a layer of old, faceted snow that was buried about a week ago.  Previous to descending the victim spoke with a group of two skiers who were also traveling in the area. When the two skiers completed their descent and returned to their parked snowmobile they found the victim’s snowmobile parked without any…

CBAC

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Poking the dragon

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Pittsburg area Date of Observation: 12/18/2020 Name: Zach Kinler Aspect: East, South West, West, North West Elevation: 9,400-11,200′ Avalanches: Observed 2 small fresh slab avalanches mid-slope on easterly facing terrain features on Schuylkill Ridge. Several shallow wind slabs off a southerly flank of Gothic Mt.   Weather: Cold start with snow showers tapering off. Felt the warmth midday with the sun peaking out for a few hours. Low-level clouds were drifting by keeping the Ruby Range and points north in the clouds. Snowpack: 10″ new snow. Toured on primarily West aspects below tree line. Got lots of feedback from the snowpack with collapses in the flats, in the trees and shooting cracks/shattering on slopes up to…

CBAC

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M Face natural wind slab stepping down to ground.

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: East Face M face bowl on Whetstone Date of Observation: 12/18/2020 Subject: M Face natural wind slab stepping down to ground. Aspect: East Elevation: 11,700 Avalanches: Large Natural Wind slab likely breaking down to ground on East face. Weather: Sunny. Snowpack:…

CB Avalanche Center

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Zone: Southeast Mountains Date of Observation: 12/18/2020 Name: billy barr Weather: The snow started around 9 p.m. and kept up all night, though mostly light with the heaviest by midnight. Total new snow was 7½” with 0.41″ of water- a light density snowfall. There was no wind with this, which is nice. Temperature range from 26ºF to the low and the current 15ºF. Currently overcast and snowing lightly with snowpack at the winters deepest of 27½”. A nice snow with no wind and staying mild.…

CBAC

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Brush Creek

Zone: Southeast Mountains Date of Observation: 12/17/2020 Name: Evan Ross Subject: Brush Creek Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,000-11,600 Avalanches: Flat light made old avalanche observations from a distance difficult. Many slopes have further been smoothed back over with recent winds and more snow. There was a natural avalanche cycle on northerly and easterly slopes in that area. While westerly slopes had a few cross-loaded pockets release too. It’s just hard to say how much of the terrain was involved in that cycle from afar. Skier triggered two small Persistent Slabs on cross-loaded northeasterly slopes near treeline. These slopes were relatively small, while the crown heights were about 45 to 50cm. Weather: Gray Bird. Calm winds down low. Snowpack: As…

CB Avalanche Center

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Calm Before the Storm

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthrcites Date of Observation: 12/17/2020 Aspect: North East Elevation: 11629 Avalanches: No signs of recent activity Weather: Calm and cold Snowpack: There were no signs of instability. Wind had taken it’s toll in open areas. East Bowl was almost blown to bare ground. Still bit thin out there , more snow please.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Collapse city

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate Date of Observation: 12/16/2020   Subject: Collapse city Aspect: North, North East Elevation: N/BTL Avalanches: Triggered a couple small persistent slabs remotely above a creek bed. Appeared to be a fresh D2 natural slab off of a westerly gulley of Gothic. Widespread activity from last weekend with numerous crowns 18″ thick spanning entire start zones where we traveled.   Weather: Ruby divide stayed in the clouds all day, with scattered skies elsewhere. Light snow at times. Light winds where we traveled, some drifting snow in the alpine. Snowpack: Dozens of collapses, just about every open slope we came to. Some radiated hundreds of feet. With the exception of a few small pockets, every steep, shady…

CBAC

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surface hoar development

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites Date of Observation: 12/16/2020 Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 10,000-11,400 Avalanches: debris noted from AMR sled parking lot coming off the cliffs near east bowl. Didn’t tour out the field to investigate. Snowpack: widespread surface hoar at all elevations on shady slopes…

CB Avalanche Center

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Snodgrass Avalanche Incident

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Near First Bowl on Snodgrass Date of Observation: 12/15/2020   Subject: Snodgrass Avalanche Incident Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,000 feet Avalanche Incident: A skier and splitboarder skinned up the southern side of Snodgrass Mountain. They descended the north side, near an area called First Bowl. At around 10,000’, the splitboarder triggered and was caught in a persistent slab avalanche. The avalanche carried the boarder into a tree, injuring his leg. The party was able to call 911 and was assisted out of the field by organized rescuers. The avalanche occurred on a below treeline slope at 10,000 feet on a northeast aspect. The avalanche was a soft slab that released on old, faceted snow layers. The…

CBAC

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More Natural Avalanches And Obvious Signs To Instability

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Paradise Divide Date of Observation: 12/15/2020 Name: Evan Ross Aspect: East, South West, West Elevation: 11,000-11,500 Avalanches: It’s a smorgasbord of natural avalanches out there. The oldest ones are from Friday 12/11, and the most recent ones are from the last 12 hours. The most recent were all wind-related from the increased overnight winds. Avalanche observations from the last 12 hours above treeline: West on Mt Baldy had 2 D2 and 1 D1.5. There was a small dribbler on a Southerly Aspect of Gothic. Red Coon Bowl had a fresh D2 this morning on an East aspect. NE Purple Palace NTL has a suspect D1.5 the could have fit in the last 12 hours too. All…

CB Avalanche Center

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variable conditions

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: RLG Date of Observation: 12/15/2020   Subject: variable conditions Aspect: South, South West Elevation: 11,000 to the valley floor Avalanches: Hard to see the surrounding mountains at times due to weather but some activity was seen in the form of old crowns on steeper terrain in wind blown areas. Looks like some of these released during the last snow. No activity was observed in the RLG zone.   Weather: Cold and windy in the valley bottom. Looked like it was ripping down the valley, 20mph because winds were light at the goal posts. Overcast and lightly snowing. The solar didn’t seem to be affecting the snow that much. Wind higher on the ridge tops looked to…

CB Avalanche Center

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Crazy remote triggering

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: East River Date of Observation: 12/15/2020   Subject: Crazy remote triggering Aspect: East Elevation: 9100 – 9500′ Avalanches: Remotely triggered two small slab avalanches (about a foot thick, 20 feet wide, ran 30 to 50 feet).  One of the slides we triggered from 1200′ away! I watched the cracks connect and the feature slide in pure disbelief.  We also got a number of similar slopes to shatter with cracks and slump, but not move, mostly remotely triggered again. Weather: Light to moderate northerly wind channeling down valley. Partly cloudy skies Snowpack: About 10″ or so of settled storm snow over the 12/10 interface, which was decaying surface hoar on facets here. Recent and ongoing northerly winds…

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Cement Creek snow

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement creek Date of Observation: 12/15/2020 Subject: Cement Creek snow Elevation: 9250 Weather: 3” on the ground from yesterday’s storm.…

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Gothic

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Date of Observation: 12/15/2020 Subject: Gothic Weather: Light snow much of Monday but ending at sunset and staying dry overnight with 3″ new and water 0.18″. Snowpack is at 23″. Currently mostly cloudy, calm and cool with the temp. range a high of 24F. low of 5F and the current is 11.…

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Remote triggered slide at Irwin

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Irwin Tenure Date of Observation: 12/14/2020 Subject: Remote triggered slide at Irwin Avalanches: Skied the far skiers right side of lodge gully W aspect <TL and remotely triggered from 50′ away a .5 to the ground 50′ wide. SS-AS/u-D.5-G Weather: Cold morning low of -14. Started snowing at 0700 after a clear night. Sky remained Obscure all day snowing S1/ S-1 off and on all day. Winds were Calm <TL and light out of the S >TL. Snowpack: Snowpack has settled and become supportive. Ski pen averaged 30cm. The average HS up to 70 ridge was 50-60cm. Toured up the road system to the top of 70 down 70 gully to skin track and Lodge Gully…

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Continued Obvious Signs To Instability

Zone: Northwest Mountains Date of Observation: 12/14/2020 Name: Evan Ross Aspect: North, North East, West Elevation: 11,000 Weather: Poor visibility until the weather started to clear in the late afternoon. Calm winds. Measured about 6″ of very light new snow at 11,000ft, from todays storm. Snowpack: Spent a few hours in the afternoon traveling around 11,000ft on West, North and Northeast aspects. More of the same, shooting cracks on many of the slopes traveled. The avalanche problem was fairly obvious without having to look to hard. Conservative decision making. If you chose to travel on a steep slope, that hadn’t already avalanched, it seemed like a high likelihood it would avalanche… Got close to some bigger steep slopes wondering if…

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More Persistent Slabs

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Elk Creek Drainage off Kebler pass Date of Observation: 12/14/2020   Subject: More Persistent Slabs Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,800′-10,500′ Avalanches: We observed numerous persistent slab avalanches on NE and E aspects BTL, ranging from D1-D2 in size, most that ran this weekend and some that we triggered today. While skinning up a ridgeline, we crossed above 7 NE facing avalanche paths. Of those 7, 5 had already run naturally during our recent storm cycle. The remaining two were easily triggered by ski cutting convexities near the top of the start zones. The slab depths varied from 12-16 inches, encasing all the recent storm snow. As the slides picked up speed, they entrained some…

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Kid triggered slide near town

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Peanut Lake Road Date of Observation: 12/13/2020 Subject: Kid triggered slide near town Elevation: BTL Avalanches: Small child triggered this avalanche while playing in the snow. Photos: [/gravityforms]…

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Just a couple more from the Ruby Range

Zone: Crested Butte Backcountry Date of Observation: 12/13/2020 Name: Zach Kinler Avalanches: Got decent views towards the East side of the Ruby Range into alpine terrain. Numerous D1.5-D2.5 slab avalanches on slopes facing primarily E-NE with a few wrapping around onto SE aspects. Some failed early in the cycle with crowns and paths faint, while other failed later in the storm with increasing northerly winds.   [/gravityforms]…

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A few avalanche observations

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Ruby Range Date of Observation: 12/13/2020   Subject: A few avalanche observations Aspect: North East, East Elevation: Near and above treeline Avalanches: Avalanches Date Location/Path # Elev Asp Type Trig SizeR SizeD View 2020/12/13 † Mount Emmons 1 TL NE SS N R1 D2 View 2020/12/13 † Ruby Range 1 >TL NE SS N R2 D2 View 2020/12/13 † Ruby Range 2 TL NE SS N R2 D2 View 2020/12/13 † Ruby Range 1 TL NE SS N R1 D2 View 2020/12/13 † Ruby Range 1 >TL E SS N R1 D2 Weather: Snowpack:…

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Gothic obs

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Date of Observation: 12/13/2020   Subject: Gothic obs Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 10,500 Avalanches: 15 or so naturals ranging from D1 to D2 from 1st bowl to the flanks of Gothic Weather: Snowpack: Winds overnight creates some big patches of wind board. More collapsing and cracking on our tour including areas we traveled yesterday that had already collapsed, especially where winds deposited a lot of new snow.…

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I thought it snowed?

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Red Coon Glade Date of Observation: 12/13/2020   Subject: I thought it snowed? Aspect: South Elevation: 11,600 Avalanches: Saw a couple mid storm crowns on Axtell and I’m RLB. None looked bigger than D1.5 though they were quite filled in. These were on NE,E and SE facing slopes Above TL. Weather: So hot in the sun. So cold in the shade. Barely a breath of wind. I thought I saw a cloud but it was just my judgment. I did see some flagging off of Beckwith in the late afternoon which I found a little surprising given the lack of wind where I was. Snowpack: Thin! Solar slope BTL had little old snow except where shaded…

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Snodgrass slides

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass Date of Observation: 12/13/2020   Subject: Snodgrass slides Aspect: North East Elevation: BTL Avalanches: See photos of some slide activity on Snodgrass Mountain.   Weather: Snowpack:…

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Washington Gulch

Zone: Southeast Mountains Date of Observation: 12/13/2020 Name: Colorado Backcountry Avalanche L1 Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,500-10,500 Avalanches: Many natural avalanches on below treeline slopes facing east to northeast. In general, the south side of Washington gulch has natural avalanche activity down by the reservoir and homes, on up to Coneys and beyond. These avalanches ran on Friday or Saturday. Many of those avalanches were small, a few where large in size. All appearing to release on old weak snowpack. The above treeline Southwest Flanks of Gothic Mountain had 2 large windslab that ran early this morning. Easterly and southeasterly terrain above treeline on Mt Baldy had one large persistent slab, and one smaller slab that may have released yesterday.…

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Coneys

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Date of Observation: 12/13/2020 Name: Jack Caprio Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 10,800 Avalanches: From the ridgeline, skier remotely triggered a R1D1.5 persistent slab on a NE facing aspect near the treeline. The avalanche broke on a 1-inch thick melt-freeze crust about 14 inches down from the surface. Above the MF crust were 1-2 mm faceted grains which developed during our dry spell before Thursday. The slide entrained all the new snow from the most recent storm (about 14 inches) and propagated about 60 feet wide. The slab initiated on a > 30-degree start zone and the momentum quickly diminished as the slope angle decreased. All in all the avalanche ran about 150 vertical…

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Cycle in the Slate

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Slate River and Baxter Basin Date of Observation: 12/13/2020   Subject: Cycle in the Slate Aspect: North East, East, South East, South Elevation: 9600′ to 11,700′ Avalanches: Widespread natural cycle yesterday and last night: extensive soft slab naturals that broke 1 to 2 feet deep on the storm interface (12/10 facet layer). Slides ranged from small to large (D1 to D2.5); most propagated across much or all of their start zones and ran to mid track. I estimate that 90% of the north or east facing paths or features in Happy Chutes, Climax Chutes, and Schuylkill Ridge ran (roughly 60 slides), as well as the west facing near treeline terrain below Baldy and Gothic (about 5…

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Anyone Can Ski Pow

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coney’s Date of Observation: 12/13/2020   Subject: Anyone Can Ski Pow Aspect: North East Elevation: 12000 something Avalanches: Evidence of previous Avalanche Activity, no signs of current Weather: Cold calm Snowpack: Pretty stiff . One of those days where you’re psyched to run sweep so others can bust it up for you. Top to bottom windslab even in the trees . Going to be an interesting set up for next round of storms.…

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Ruby Natural

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: SE face of Ruby 12’000 feet Date of Observation: 12/12/2020   Subject: Ruby Natural Aspect: Southeast Elevation: 12,000′ Avalanches: N-SS-R1-D1.5-I Southeast face of ruby approximately 150 wide and ran 1000′ most likely ran yesterday afternoon mid storm. Weather: At Irwin village temperatures are in the low twenties. Clear skies and calm winds. Very nice! Snowpack: HS 28″ HST 14″ Snow settled some last night with the cold temps. boot pen 40cm. Along with the Ruby avalanche observed several steep road cuts and rollers around Irwin that had cracked to the ground naturally and slumped but did not run. Also observed two collapses in flat meadows walking on foot.…

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Gothic 7am weather update

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Townsite Date of Observation: 12/13/2020 Name: Billy Barr Subject: Gothic 7am weather update Weather: A steady dense cold weather snowfall all day Saturday with not a lot of buildup at 4½” new and 0.43″ of water as snow is at 21½” deep now. Thankfully there was little wind with it. The 24 hour period high was 15ºF and it is now at -14ºF, the coldest so far this winter. Currently clear and calm. The weight of the dense new snow should press on the lighter early snow. Storm total was 17½” of snow with 1.21″ of water. And now for a lovely, sunny day ahead. billy  …

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Cement Creek Snow

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Date of Observation: 12/13/2020 Name: Cosmo Langsfeld Subject: Cement Creek Snow Aspect: Elevation: 9250 Avalanches: Weather: Snow let up around midmorning Saturday, and though it never really quit snowing all day, only another 1.5″ accumulated, bringing storm totals from Thursday night through Sunday morning to ~4.5″. Thermometer said -12 at 6:30am.  …

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Touchy Conditions Mount Emmons

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gunsight Road Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: Ian Havlick Subject: Touchy Conditions Mount Emmons Aspect: North, North East, East, South East Elevation: 9000-11,200 Avalanches: Numerous remotely triggered D1 avalanches failing off road cuts within old snow on steep rollovers and raod cuts. Junky facets 30cm deep, new snow 30cm deep in terrain travelled. Slabs were fist+ hard above fist- 2-3mm facets. Fracture line profile on one remote trigger, 10,800ft, NE facing revealed ECTPV (1 tap) and CT3 failing 35cm deep within upper 3cm of old facet surface.   Weather: S-1 to S2 most of the day, some partial midday clearing but no vis into the alpine. calm conditions. Temps 5-17ºF Snowpack: Simple structure, new snow on…

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Ponytail glades

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Ponytail glades Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: JAFAR TABAIAN Subject: Ponytail glades Aspect: East, South East, South Elevation: 11200 Avalanches: None. Weather: Snowing. :) Snowpack: Extreme cracking on S slopes, ran 15-20 feet. Nothing moved on us but slope angle was max 28 degrees. S slopes had a very crusty ice layer near ground. E slopes had un-consolidated loose snow to ground level and skied better. Pretty thin, hiked out the last pitch down to the mine road. Photos:  …

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Pittsburg

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Pittsburg Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: Joey Carpenter Subject: Pittsburg Aspect: North East Elevation: 9250-10.5k Avalanches: Remote trigger (skinning), unintentional, R1D1, 10k, NE, 37 degrees, 45cm storm slab, 40′ wide, 50 vert, ran on November facets (35cm to ground, 1.5-2mm). Cracking extended onto 34-35 degree slopes 30′ to either side of the crown. M/f crust here has deteriorated almost entirely. Remote trigger (skinning), intentional, R1D.5, 9700k, NE, 36 degrees, 45cm storm slab. 25 ft wide, 30 vert, Nov facets. The 60-80ft skiers left of this slide ran naturally sometime yesterday afternoon. Skier trigger, R1.5D1.5, 10k, 35 degrees, 45cm storm slab (estimate), ran 60-70 vert, intentional, This slide had the most energy of anything we saw today…

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Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys S Trees Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: J B Aspect: North East, East, South East Elevation: up to 10,800 Avalanches: A few notable natural slides overnight in terrain up to 35 degrees on ESE up to D2.…

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Slabs On Junk

Zone: Southeast Mountains Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: Colorado Backcountry AVY L1 Aspect: North East Elevation: 10,000 Avalanches: 1 Tree Bomb triggered D1 Weather: Overcast, calm, cold. Mostly light snowfall with about 2″ new snow on the cars when we returned to the trailhead. Snowpack: About a 35cm soft slab, sitting on exceptionally weak facets. When we tried to isolate columns, with hands or ski poles, the columns failed before they were fully isolated. We never felt any collapses, but traveling in areas with slope angles between about 15 to 30 degrees, often produced shooting cracks and blocks of new snow shifting on the facets below.…

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Reactive Slabs on Snodgrass

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: Eric Murrow Subject: Reactive Slabs on Snodgrass Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,500 – 11,100 Avalanches: Triggered two avalanches from ridgetop D1’s but enough volume to take you for a ride and pound you into trees and rocks, one on east, one on northeast (see photos). Observed a natural on a north-facing feature that ran early in the day, as bed surface had just a dusting of new snow, D1.   Weather: Overcast skies, very light winds (trees holding lots of snow), consistent light snow, S-1, between 10am and 230pm accumulated a bit more than an inch. Snowpack: Storm totals since Friday morning were up to 35cm (13″) at…

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Cracking, collapsing, avalanching

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Pittsburg Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: Sam L Subject: Cracking, collapsing, avalanching Aspect: North, North East Elevation: Avalanches: Widespread cracking and collapsing including remote and skier triggered low energy D1s. Weather: Steady snowfall all day, snowed up to an inch on sleds, seemed more like two at the trail head. Snowpack: Slides entrained all of storm snow from the past two days and ran on basal facets and seemingly a deteriorated sun crust on more sunny aspects. Photos:  …

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Red Lady glades pow tour

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Red Lady Glades Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Subject: Red Lady glades pow tour Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 11200 Avalanches: Small R1/D1 avalanche path noticed at 11200 feet. Most likely intentional from the skier before me skiing on the SE facing skin track. Weather: Snowing, low visibility,1 5 degrees Snowpack: 70 cm depth Photos:  …

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Gothic Obs

Zone: Northwest Mountains Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: Alex Tiberio Subject: Gothic Obs Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 10,000 Avalanches: Weather: Snowpack: Lots of shooting cracks on our low angle tour, propagating large distances. Entire meadows would all collapse at once. Photos: [/gravityforms]…

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Cement Creek

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: Cosmo Langsfeld Subject: Cement Creek Aspect: Elevation: 9250 Avalanches: Weather: Storm total as of early Saturday morning is about 3”. Snowing lightly, though rate of snowfall had been increasing throughout the morning. Snowpack:…

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Gothic 7am weather update

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Gothic Townsite Date of Observation: 12/12/2020 Name: Billy Barr Subject: Gothic 7am weather update Weather: A little late today as internet was out for a while, and it snowed! (so i had to actually go out and do some work). –Generally light snow yesterday with occasional short periods of moderate snowfall. Then it picked up after dark before stopping and even clearing for a few hours. Clouds moved back around 5 a.m. Currently it is overcast and calm with the 24 hour snow total of 10″ new with 0.57″ of water and the snowpack at 20″. Temperature range was a high of 13ºF, low of -06 and current +3. Looks like a very light snow starting…

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Kebler Pass ski

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites Date of Observation: 12/11/2020 Name: Eric Murrow   Subject: Kebler Pass ski Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 10,000 – 11,500 Avalanches: Intentionally triggered one dry loose avalanche that quickly gouged into old snow. Slope was small, but debris volume was bigger than you would expect with only 5 inches of new snow.   Weather: Overcast skies, consistent light snowfall with several short periods of moderate snowfall (S-1 to S2), and generally light winds with occasional moderate gusts from westerly directions. Snowpack: New snow at Kebler Pass/Antracites was 4″ at 10am and reached 6″ by 3pm. Relatively low-density snowfall. Intentionally sought out terrain features without previous traffic and found loose avalanches were easy to trigger…

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20201211 Storm Obs

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: The Deep Slate Date of Observation: 12/11/2020 Name: J B Subject: 20201211 Storm Obs Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9400-11400 Avalanches: Innumerable remote, natural, and ski cut triggered D1 avalanches within the storm slab. Crowns broke down to the old snow, but primarily slumped and stayed in place with the exception of the top 5-10 cms of new snow which did not run far. Avalanches were concentrated to convex rolls over 38 degrees. The largest slide was triggered by a ski cut near rocks on an old bed surface and piled up enough snow on the uphill side of trees to bury someone to their waist but would not have ended their days- larger D1 with…

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Lots of activity

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Coneys Date of Observation: 12/11/2020 Subject: Lots of activity Aspect: North Elevation: Avalanches: New snow (8”) was fracturing across the slope. The slope would essentially shatter above and below me but would not slide. The snowpack was weak and you would sink to the ground while skinning/skiing.  …

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Natural And Human Triggered Avalanches

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Skylkill Ridge Date of Observation: 12/11/2020 Name: Evan Ross Aspect: North East Elevation: 9,200 to 11,200 Avalanches: Natural avalanche activity spiked mid-day during a period of heavy snowfall. Soft slabs of new snow failing on the very weak, faceted, old snow. Many D1’s near treeline and a few D1’s below treeline. About five D2’s and, one D2.5 near treeline. For the most part, these were very soft slabs that just slumped into the weak facets below, started moving, then stopped 50 to 100ft downhill. Others initiated the same way, but continued to gain momentum and entrain the full snowpack. Not all these slabs propagated widely, but there were some standouts. Runaway Ski propagated across most of its…

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Snowpack ripe for failure

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Snodgrass/Gothic saddle Date of Observation: 12/11/2020 Name: Alex Tiberio   Subject: Snowpack ripe for failure Aspect: North East Elevation: 10500 Avalanches: Intentionally triggered a D2 Storm Slab on a NNE facing slope. Released about 20 ft below a ski cut. Propagated 20 ft wide running about 500ft downhill. Phone died, couldn’t get pictures.   Weather: Snowing on and off throughout the morning. Sometimes heavy. 6” new snow in gothic. About 8” on the snodgrass/gothic ridge line Snowpack: Weak. Some preserved surface hoar below the storm snow. Facets to the ground below that. Easy the produce spiderwebbing shooting cracks on More northerly facing slopes Photos:  …

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Gothic 7am Weather Update

Zone: Southeast Mountains Date of Observation: 12/11/2020 Name: billy barr Subject: Gothic 7am Weather Update Weather: Light snow starting around 9 p.m. and going off and on overnight but picking up a couple hours before sunrise. Now 3″ new snow with water 0.21″ and snowpack 12½”. No wind and currently obscured and snowing lightly. Yesterday’s high was 34ºF and the current is the low of 17ºF. billy…

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Cement Creek Snow

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Cement Creek Date of Observation: 12/11/2020 Name: Cosmo Langsfeld Elevation: 9250’ Weather: ~1.5” of new snow as of 5:30am.…

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Carbon Peak

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: East side of Carbon Peak Date of Observation: 12/10/2020 Name: Bo Torrey Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, North West Elevation: 10,800-9200′ Weather: Overcast skies. Calm winds. Snowpack: South aspects were bare ground up to 12,000 ft. Snow depths on northerly slopes averaged about 30-40cm. On SE facing slopes the snow had consolidated down to just a few inches and coverage was thin but the snow was supportable and made for more predictable turning conditions. On east, north, and northwest facing slopes, I found a mix of crust and facet layers with varying levels of thickness and support. On the surface, there was a subtle crust with facets directly below it, followed by another thicker…

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The Greybird sings

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Wolverine Basin Date of Observation: 12/10/2020 Name: Zach Kinler and Jack Caprio Subject: The Greybird sings Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, North West Elevation: 9,000-11,000′ Avalanches: No new avalanches observed Weather: High-level cloud cover has drifted in after another cold night. This kept daytime temps cool. Light southerly breezes at valley bottom. Snowpack: Thin snowpack with weak surfaces, nothing too new to report there. Got a few looks at NW aspects below treeline where coverage is thin but continuous and just as weak as SE-E-N with large grain facets resting on a soft windboard in open areas and facets to the ground in sheltered terrain.   Photos:  …

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Starting Over

Zone: Southeast Mountains Date of Observation: 12/09/2020 Name: Evan Ross Snowpack: After a long dry spell for the end of November and the start of December, we could boil a snowpack summary down to something fairly simple. If the terrain was white with snow on December 9th, then those slopes will have a weak foundation for the next round of snow and building snowpack to come. Not all the current snow coverage will be the next persistent weak layer, but the vast majority will be. So keep it simple, where we had snow coverage around ~12/9, is where we can expect the next persistent Slab Avalanche Problem to begin building. Of course, we need it to start snowing again. Please start…

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Sun and Serotonin

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Purple Ridge Date of Observation: 12/09/2020 Name: Zach Kinler and Eric Murrow Subject: Sun and Serotonin Aspect: North, North East, East, South East Elevation: 9800-12,200′ Avalanches: No new avalanches observed. Weather: Brilliant. Cold in the valley, spring-like above the inversion with above freezing temps. Light westerly wind at ridge top. Whispy clouds moving in late in the afternoon. Snowpack: Toured SE-E-N aspects enjoying the comfortable conditions while looking at surface conditions as we approach a loading event this weekend. East aspects were weakest in this area, as we have seen from other zones, with 15-20cm of large grain facets resting on weak crusts below 11k and a more supportive windboard/mid pack slab above 11K. Moving to…

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Waiting for snow

Name: Jack Caprio Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Baxter Basin Date of Observation: 12/09/2020 Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,500-11,500 Avalanches: Old natural and skier triggered dry loose avalanches on East, Northeast, and North Facing aspects above treeline. Some naturals were initiated due to solar warming near rock bands on east-facing terrain. Weather: Just lovely. Little to no wind and sunny skies. Snowpack: We toured primarily on North, Northeast, and East facing aspects from 9,500′ to 11,400′. At 10,000 feet, we found about 10-15 cm of 2-4 mm fist hard facets on the top of the snowpack. Below that, we found 30 cm of 1 finger dense snow down to the ground. As we gained elevation, we toured primarily on the…

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Kebler Pass obs

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Anthracites – standard skin up and east bowl down Date of Observation: 12/08/2020 Name: Eric Murrow & Zach Kinler Subject: Kebler Pass obs Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 10,000 – 11,250′ Weather: clear skies, mild temperatures, and light wind. Do clouds form here? Snowpack: Went for a quick tour around the Antracites looking at north and easterly slopes checking on snow surfaces and the loose snow avalanche problem. On a northeast-facing slope at 10,700 we found 70cm deep snowpack (a bit more than 2 feet) with 20cm (8 inches) of fist hard, weak snow at the surface and 1 finger snow below that.  2 inches below surface a Surface Hoar layer was identified and had…

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West Brush Creek

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: West Brush Creek Road towards Coffee Pot Pass Date of Observation: 12/07/2020 Name: Eric Murrow Subject: West Brush Creek Aspect: North, North East, East, South East, South, South West, West, North West Elevation: 8,900′ – 12,250′ Avalanches: Two small loose avalanches in steep terrain below treeline. Looked like east-facing rock bands may have shed small amounts of snow from solar warming onto slopes below. Weather: Gorgeous. Mild air temperatures with very little wind below ridgetops. Full sun. Snowpack: Shallow conditions throughout West Brush Creek. Snow volumes looked to decrease as we traveled east towards the head of West Brush Creek drainage even as elevation increased. The wind has affected most snow surfaces near and above treeline.…

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One good turn

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: West Brush and Twin Lakes basins Date of Observation: 12/07/2020   Subject: One good turn Aspect: North East, South East, South Elevation: 9,000 – 13,000′ Avalanches: Came across an old natural persistent slab crown and debris, 2′ to 3′ thick, D1.5 in size, below the apron of a couloir on a NE aspect. Looks like it ran last storm, about 2 weeks ago. Weather: You guessed it. Snowpack: Checking out the snow structure in some less frequented areas east of town: equally weak and shallower than terrain to the west. Snow depths in shaded, wind protected terrain are about 12″ to 15″, fist hard 1.5 – 2.0 mm facets throughout, unsupportive to skis. Near and above…

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Kebler Area

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Kebler Area Date of Observation: 12/06/2020   Subject: Kebler Area Aspect: North, North East, East, South Elevation: 10 – 12k Avalanches: Small broken cornice in the entrance to a south facing gully. A few spots where surface facets had rolled down but really nothing to shake a pole at. Weather: Calm, sunny, but didn’t feel nuclear hot this morning up high. Snowpack: Skied one narrow NE facing chute that was obviously cross loaded but the surface snow was not cohesive. Top inch or two would stuff off. Just as one might expect with very weak facets on top, total trap door at the bottom, and soft snow between. An adjacent wider N facing chute actually seemed…

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10 Great Turns

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: East bowl of Schuylkill Peak above Pittsburg rollers Date of Observation: 12/6/2020 Name: Zach Kinler, Jack Caprio Aspect: North, North East, East, South East Elevation: 9,400′- 11,600′ Avalanches: Observed 6 older Loose Dry avalanches on steep E-N slopes initiating from shallow areas around rock outcrops near tree line. All D1 in size confined to surface snow. Triggered 4 Loose Dry avalanches from ridge line in similar terrain, running 200-300 vertical feet. D1 in size. These avalanches are easy to avoid as they are starting quite small and narrow and only gaining harmful momentum mid to lower track as the terrain funnels and confines the debris. Weather: Amazingly pleasant. Sunny skies, calm winds, temps in valley around…

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Schofield area

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: North Pole Basin Date of Observation: 12/05/2020   Subject: Schofield area Aspect: Elevation: Above treeline Avalanches: Mid morning we watched a few cinnamon rolls come out of southeast facing cliffs. Weather: Warm and calm. Snowpack: We found highly variable, soft wind-textured snow surfaces. Average snowpack depth ranged from one and half feet on east to south facing slopes, with and average just over two feet deep on north to east-facing slopes. The snowpack remains essentially right-side-up, with denser stiffer snow near the ground and weaker faceted snow near the snow surface. Ski penetration averaged ~4 to 6 inches deep. In shallowly snow-coved wind-swept areas the snowpack was less supportive with ski penetration to the ground.…

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Spring sprung early

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Upper Slate Date of Observation: 12/05/2020   Subject: Spring sprung early Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9700-12,300′ Avalanches: Saw a few harmless (D1) dry loose avalanches that ran yesterday or today on east aspects from solar warming near rock bands and one that was animal triggered. Snowboarder triggered a very thin wind slab (D1) on a cross-loaded north-facing gulley, about 10 feet wide. Weather: T-shirt weather at 12,000′ in the sun. Snowpack: We traveled in steep terrain and found a generally quiet snowpack with a few small instabilities. At ridgeline there were isolated wind slabs up to 6″ thick from northerly winds earlier this week overlying well developed near surface facets. These produced localized cracking/collapsing…

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Tiptoeing in Baxter

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Baxter Date of Observation: 12/05/2020   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…

CB Avalanche Center

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More of the same…dry loose avalanches

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Climax Chutes Date of Observation: 12/04/2020   Subject: More of the same…dry loose avalanches Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 11,300′ Avalanches: Intentionally triggered about 8 dry loose avalanches from ridgeline, generally D1.5 with a few up to D2 in size. The sluffs started in the top 8″ to 10″ of faceted snow and plowed deeper as they ran further. Estimate they ran about 1500′ to 2000′ vert. Weather: Clear, mild temps, calm winds. Snowpack: Same old story. Weak faceted snow throughout the snowpack, generally fist hard. Decaying surface hoar in the top few inches of the snowpack produced some minor cracking where there were 2″ wind drifts. Snow gains a little cohesion as you gain elevation,…

CBAC

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found the facet sluff problem!

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: schuykill ridge – thanksgiving bowl Date of Observation: 12/04/2020   Subject: found the facet sluff problem! Aspect: North East Elevation: 9200-11400 Avalanches: intentional ski cut on a convexity at 11,150′ on skier’s left side of thanksgiving bowl produced a loose dry avalanche or facet sluff which propagated 30 feet and ran 650 vertical feet, through small trees and exposing rocks below the snow, stopping on a bench in a stand of trees. Enough energy to take you off your feet and moving fast enough to hurt you in the trees or strained through rocks, not enough to bury you. See photo, have a couple videos which I’ll send to CBAC.   Weather: Snowpack:…

CB Avalanche Center

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Mt. Baldy

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: East face Date of Observation: 12/03/2020 Name: Alan Bernholtz   Subject: Mt. Baldy Aspect: East Elevation: 12,400 Avalanches: No avalanches were served but we did get a few collapses in isolated wind deposited snow on the approach. Very specific terrain features   Weather: Clear, cool, and moderate west winds on the summit Snowpack: Variety of snow surfaces and depth. We experienced all kinds of snow conditions (except deep powder). At he deepest point the couloir held around 70 cm of snow but again, was a wide variety of depths. There was wind loaded areas and wind stripped areas. We found a few distinct crusts. A sun crust lower in the pack and wind board closer to…

CB Avalanche Center

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Below treeline in Northwest Zone

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Purple Palace terrain Date of Observation: 12/03/2020 Name: Eric Murrow   Subject: Below treeline in Northwest Zone Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,600′ – 11,300′ Avalanches: One small skier triggered Loose Dry avalanche.   Weather: Clear, sunny skies. Calm to light winds. Snowpack: This was just a quick trip to look at the snowpack on shady terrain below treeline in the snow favored part of the forecast area. East facing slopes show very weak faceted snow at the surface resting on a faceting melt/freeze crust – challenging to skin on. Northerly slopes in this area range from 50 to 70 and remain supportive to boots and skis with relatively dense lower snowpack. Surface snow is…

CBAC

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Mount Axtel Weak Snow Junk Show

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Mount Axtel Date of Observation: 12/02/2020 Name: Eric Murrow   Subject: Mount Axtel Weak Snow Junk Show Aspect: North, North East, East Elevation: 9,500′ – 11,900′ Avalanches: Intentionally triggered a couple small Dry Loose avalanches on north and east slopes near and below treeline. Loose dry avalanches did not fan out and spread, and entrained little mass, just enough to knock you over.   Weather: Cool day with light winds and some mellow gusts. Did not observe any significant transport of the couple inches of new from the previous day. Snowpack: A weak and shallow mess. Snowpack ranged from 30 to 60 cm through this terrain. Areas less than about 45cm had little to no support…

CB Avalanche Center

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Unhappy Chutes

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: Happy Chutes, Mount Emmons Date of Observation: 12/01/2020   Subject: Unhappy Chutes Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,000 – 10,300 Avalanches: Intentionally triggered several long-running dry loose avalanches, large enough to drag or carry someone (D1.5). The slides entrained the entire snowpack (about a foot deep) and ran about 1000 vertical feet. Weather: Mostly cloudy, light northerly winds, very light snowfall. Snowpack: A shallow, weak mess. Snow depth is about a foot deep, almost entirely fist hard, 1 to 1.5 mm facets. The surface is 5 – 15 mm surface hoar (upright and intact) covered by the inch of snow that fell this morning. On east to southeast aspects, there is a decaying melt-freeze crust midpack…

CBAC

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Like skinning in a sandbox

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Hancock Date of Observation: 11/30/2020   Subject: Like skinning in a sandbox Aspect: North East, East, South West Elevation: 9,600 – 12,400′ Avalanches: None today. Weather: Clear skies, mild temps, moderate westerly winds Snowpack: We found good stability on steep terrain and noted plenty of weak layers on the snow surface for future problems. Several pits on NE aspects targeting persistent slab concerns were unreactive. In previously wind loaded areas(HS~90 cm), the basal facets show signs of being stronger, harder, and smaller grained now, and were also discontinous due to talus on the ground. In previously wind-scoured or shallow areas areas, the snowpack is quite weak (Fist hard, 1mm facets) but no slab. Snow surfaces consist…

CBAC

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Groundhog’s day can be fun

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Upper Slate Date of Observation: 11/29/2020   Subject: Groundhog’s day can be fun Aspect: North, North East Elevation: 9700-12,200′ Avalanches: No recent avalanches. Spotted a few more small wind slabs from early last week. Weather: Awesome. Snowpack: Continuing the hunt for persistent slab feedback and not finding it. Went to a high, northerly bowl that we documented in early November as a potential problem slope with continuous weak layer coverage across the whole bowl. The 11/14 northwest wind event had clearly scoured back most of the slab, evidenced by reverse cornicing on the ridge, some veg poking out mid-bowl, and pole probing. A representative pit photo is attached, showing a shallow snowpack without the structure for…

CBAC

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Snodgrass study pit

Zone: Southeast Mountains Location: E facing knoll on Snodgrass Date of Observation: 11/26/2020 Name: Jack Caprio Subject: Snodgrass Aspect: East Elevation: 10,000 Avalanches: None observed Weather: Scattered clouds, sun coming in and out. Temps around 20’s. Light winds less than 10 mph out of the south. Snowpack: I tested the snowpack on an east facing aspect below treeline. I found thin melt freeze crust at depths of 20 cm and 15 cm with F hard facets above and below. Sitting on the bottom of the pack are 15 cm of 1-1.5 mm facets No exciting propagating results in stability tests. However, both the fractures on CT and ECT collapsed on the interface of old faceted snow and the melt freeze crust…

CB Avalanche Center

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NE powder SW sun crusts

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Poverty Gulch Date of Observation: 11/28/2020   Subject: NE powder SW sun crusts Aspect: North East, South West Elevation: 9,200-11,600 Avalanches: Very slow moving sloughs (top 20cm) on 36-38 shaded slopes. Very slow moving shallow slough/slab (10cm sun crust) on 32-34 degree sunny slope.   Weather: Blue skies & very little wind. Single digits in the morning, warming to the lower 20s by afternoon. Snowpack: HS 90-95cm on shaded NE slopes; upper 20cm unconsolidated new snow sitting on a soft crust. HS much lower (did not measure, but maybe 20cm) on sunny SW slopes; but compacted and supportable with 8-10cm soft sun on the surface.…

CB Avalanche Center

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Poverty Gulch

Zone: Northwest Mountains Location: Poverty Gulch Date of Observation: 11/28/2020 Name: Evan Ross Subject: Poverty Gulch Aspect: North East, East Elevation: 9,500-12,000 Weather: Another beautiful weather day. Light winds at ridgeline and high temps felt like they reached into the upper 20’s to near freezing. Snowpack: It’s sad to see the cold clear nights faceting away the upper snowpack. The mid-pack still had good support for now, and the combination of the weak upper snowpack and stronger mid-pack is keeping the skiing good. Unfortunately we are watching or snowpack go its typical Continental direction. Focusing on the now, and not what we’re going to be dealing with later. Normal caution feels spot on. Or, good group travel techniques, while keeping an…

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