Wet obs

CBAC 2020-21 Observations

Date of Observation: 04/02/2021
Name: Zach Guy and Zach Kinler


Zone: Northwest/Southeast boundary
Location: Mt. Emmons
Aspect: North East, East, South East, West, North West
Elevation: 9500-12000′

Avalanches: A handful of small wet loose avalanches ran today, generally on northeast and some east aspects at all elevations. Skier triggered a couple of wet loose avalanches this afternoon below treeline on a northeast aspect. The slides gouged through most of the snowpack, large enough bury someone in a gulley (~D1.5). These were in steep, rocky terrain holding a shallow and weak snowpack that is just now becoming saturated.
Weather: Unseasonably warm: Highs reached mid 50’s at 10,000′ and 40 at 12,000′. Partly cloudy skies. Light ridgetop winds.
Snowpack: Several pits on E, SE, and W aspects N/BTL targeting wet slab concerns. Generally, slopes that are getting the most water right now have already seen a fair amount of water already and have moist or wet grains throughout the entire snowpack. Slopes where the snowpack has remained dry until the last few days have water in the upper few inches today. Water was pooling about 40 cm deep on a SE aspect NTL (the rest of the snowpack was moist), and pooling about 5 cm deep on a West aspect NTL (the rest of the pack was dry). At low elevations, the saturated snowpack became unsupportive (bottomless boot pen) by the afternoon on flat terrain. All but high northerly aspects or steep due north aspects at low elevations got wet today. Good, stable corn skiing this morning on southerly aspects until about noon, at which point the snow surface became increasingly mushy and we were able to trigger pinwheels and micro-sluffs. Northeast and northwesterly aspects were most active today for wet loose activity because the snow surface is just now transitioning from dry to moist or wet.