Washington Gulch snowmobile and pavement tour

CBAC CBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 12/24/2021
Name: Eric Murrow

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: Snowmobiled out Washington Gulch Road to 10,000 feet and obs from pavement at 4pm.

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: I remotely triggered a small avalanche on a northeast-facing slope at 10,000 feet, D1.
While driving by Meridian lake at 4pm, I observed a small avalanche that appeared to fail about the depth of the storm snow on a northeast aspect, failed between 1130 and 4pm.
Just before sunset, I was able to observe numerous avalanches along Slate River Corridor from Happy Chutes to Climax chutes – visibility was poor but D1 to D2.5 on northeast and east aspects. I also was able to see a D2-ish debris pile on Gibson Ridge that ran just short of the defensive berms above the county builiding on northeast aspect. (photos of avalanches were too poor to make out any details out or code accurately)
Weather: S2 – S5 snowfall between 1130 and 4pm out Washington Gulch. Winds were generally light at the valley bottom with some moderate gusts.
Snowpack: Around 330pm, at 10,000 feet, I measure 30 inches of new snow with 3 inches of snow water equivalent. I snowmobiled and booted on several steep, southerly terrain features without signs of instability or cracking. One quiet collapse while walking through a cold-sink willowy area released a small avalanche that failed somewhere in the middle of the storm snow on a northeast aspect.