West Brush Creek

CBACCBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 12/12/2022
Name: Eric Murrow

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: Brush Creek TH to West Brush Creek. Tour in the Union Chutes area.

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: A handful of natural avalanches from last week were observed on east and northeast terrain near and below treeline.
Weather: Cloudy skies produced light snowfall from 1230 to 2pm with sporadic snow through 330. Accumulations less than an inch. Southwesterly winds drifted snow at ridgetop with light loading onto easterly alpine start zones.
Snowpack: The snowpack remains fairly shallow, less than 2 feet, below 9,500 feet near the confluence of Brush and West Brush Creeks. Snow depth increased as I traveled the few miles up West Brush Creek. Snow depth near the valley bottom by Teocalli, around 10,000 feet, on east and northeast terrain was about 90cm and slowly increased to around 105cm around 11,200 feet. Close to valley bottom, I produced some moderate size collapsing. Near 11,000 feet and above I struggled to get a collapse even with booting into the weak layer but finally got one loud, rumbling collapse after numerous attempts. Snow pit tests produced moderate propagating test results on the basal facets (see photo).  Fewer signs of instability than I expected, but the same poor structure above the untrustworthy basal facets.