Washington Gulch

CB Avalanche Center 2016-17 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 12/26/2016
Name: Donny Roth
Subject: Washington Gulch
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: 9800-10,900

Avalanches:
Weather: Overcast in AM to clear skies in PM, no new precip; light to moderate down valley wind in morning, calm in PM; cold, high recorded temp of -11ºC @ 10,000’ @ 13:00.
Snowpack: Ski pen of 10cm to 20cm for most of the day; upper 20cm to 40cm of the snowpack was a 4F wind slab. Compression tests and hand shears produced easy results, but an ECT didn’t propagate across the column. The upper part of the pack felt great under foot while touring, but you could feel the inconsistencies on the descent. We got one, short, shooting crack on a 32º slope, but otherwise so no obvious signs of instabilities. The interface between the new wind slab and the buried near surface facets was clear. With the cold temps, the surface of the snow appeared to be faceting in the late afternoon. I think this will heal this week, but it needs a couple days. (IMO).