Wet avalanches

CB Avalanche Center CBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 05/17/2022
Name: Ben Pritchett

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: near Crested Butte

Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: May 16 and 17 a cycle of wet avalanches ran that are gouging deeper into the snowpack. These started as loose avalanches, some from cornice collapses, with some gouging out narrow slabs breaking near the ground. Four of them grew large in size.
Weather: several near-record warm days with non-freezing nights. May 14th was the last night with a good freeze above treeline. Notably, at the Butte snotel (10,150′) the last solid valley freeze was May 5th.
Snowpack: Snowpack mostly gone at lower elevations. The snowpack is remarkably dirty and only continuous at upper elevations. The high elevations of the Ruby Range and Paradise Divide area still hold much more snow than other areas.

Photos:

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