Wet snow and dry pow

CB Avalanche Center 2019-20 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/16/2020
Name: Eric Murrow
Subject: wet snow and dry pow
Aspect: North, North East, East, South East
Elevation: 8700′ – 12500′

Avalanches: observed a couple of recent small Wet Loose avalanches on steep rocky east-facing near treeline feature.

Weather: Warm day, with light winds, and increasing high-clouds.

Snowpack: Shaded slopes below about 10,000 feet had thin soft crusts at the surface in the morning that softened by late afternoon but I did not find any concerns for loose activity on shady low elevation slopes.

While ascending east-southeast near treeline terrain at 1pm, found 4 to 5 inches of wet snow sitting on an old crust. The old crust was often supportive to boots except for shallowest spots or around vegetation. Felt like you could trigger small loose slides in this terrain by afternoon, but the intact crust would have limited the amount of entrainment. Beneath the old curst, the snowpack was uniform, soft and very moist. Snow depths through this terrain were 65-85cm.

Descended northerly-facing terrain at all elevation bands without signs of instability.  Surfaces were generally soft, well-settled snow.