West Side

CB Avalanche Center 2018-19 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 03/16/2019
Name: Eric Murrow

Subject: West Side
Elevation: 8,900′ – 11,000′


Numerous D1 loose went avalanches from the previous day on sunny near and above treeline slopes. Evidence of very large, but old avalanches from over a week ago – crowns well drifted in. There were a few more recent avalanches from the middle of last week during the last snowfall and wind event around 3/13- D2.5/D3 failing in old snow on the west side of Mt. Owen ATL, D2.5 on easterly piece of terrain on East Beckwith failing in old snow NTL, and a D1.5 on north facing ATL slope on East Beckwith that failed only in last weeks storm snow and was triggered by a dry slough.

Second hand report of skier triggered slide on SE aspect.  ~2 to 3 foot crown likely drifted slope from north winds middle of last week, probably failing on 3/12 interface during warm part of the day.

Weather: Clear skies with light winds. Strong solar and mild temps softening snow surfaces by noon.

Snowpack: Took a trip to the far west side of the forecast area. Down at Horse Ranch Park area, HS averaged around 180cm @ 8,900′. Ascending to Beckwith Pass area found HS around 280cm at 10,500′. Dug a couple quick holes looking for any concerning structure on shaded slopes in the upper snowpack but not notable test results or layers of concern. Like much of the range, weak layers are down near the bottom of the snowpack-you could feel density change by using probe.

Snow surfaces began to soften by noon or a bit earlier. Watched a few very small loose wet snow release from steep rocky east facing features. Digging into wetted surfaces on sunny slopes showed soft F density snow beneath the surface crust.