Wet avalanches near town and wet snow at Irwin

CB Avalanche Center2014-15 Observations

LOCATION: Crested Butte and Kebler Pass Areas
NAME: Zach Guy
SUBJECT: Wet avalanches near town and wet snow at Irwin
ASPECT: North East, East, South East, South, West
ELEVATION: 9,000 to 12,000 feet.


AVALANCHES:¬†About 5 new wet avalanches ran yesterday or the day before on Gibson Ridge’s ENE face near town, below treeline. Some were slabs, some were wet loose, and all gouged to the ground, ranging from D1.5 to D2. WS/WL-N-R2-D1.5/2-G
Several very small wet loose and blocks of slab ran today above banks of Coal Creek, NE aspects BTL. Harmless in size and no more than 8 feet of propagation.

WEATHER: Clouds increased from few to broken through the day, with a short period of graupel in the afternoon. Temps rose to 39 degrees at 10k.

SNOWPACK: 2″ of new snow insulated wet snowpack from much of a refreeze last night. On Southeast, South, and West aspects at Irwin from 10k to 12k elevation: Boot penetration was waist deep and/or to the ground from mid-morning to mid-afternoon, with wet grains through the entire snowpack. Ski pen deteriorated through the day, changing from fully supportive to punchy knee deep or deeper by the afternoon.
Stability tests producing sudden collapse failures on facet layers above and below the February 20th crust, about 40 to 50 cm deep, on both SE and W aspects near treeline. Water pooling at this crust, which was very wet.