Washington Gulch

CB Avalanche Center 2014-15 Observations

Name: Donny
Title: Washington Gulch
Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 01/02/2015
Aspect: North East, East
Elevation: 9500-11000


Weather: WEATHER: Clear, calm and 6ºF at 9,400′ @ 09:30. Clear, light NW wind and 20ºF at 12:30 @ 10,800′. Clear, calm and 8ºF at 9,400′ @ 15:30.

Snowpack: SNOWPACK/AVALANCHE OBS: The mountains were chatty today. Surface hoar and near surface facets on all elevations and aspects. Ski pen varied widely. From 5 cm on more southern tilted ridges to 40cm on more northern aspects below treeline. First run in the trees felt like surface facets separated from basel facets by a thin crust. Not much of a slab. Out in the open part of Coney’s was much different. East aspects were cross-loaded from down valley winds and this wind slab was reactive. Several collapses and large shooting cracks visible, even under 5cm of new snow/SH. At one point (~10,200′ / East aspect) we collapsed a slope with visible cracks surrounding us. Slope angle was about 25º. Moving on to more north aspects meant the wind slab wasn’t as pronounced, but it was much easier to “sink” to the 12/13 interface. It had a spooky feeling about it. I have included a couple photos of the remote triggered slide in Coney’s from 12/30. It looks like a R3-D2. The crown is about 50cm. It ran about 400 vertical feet.