~12″ HST, Loose Snow And Soft Slab Avalanches. Axtell

CB Avalanche Center2018-19 Observations

Location: Crested Butte Area
Date of Observation: 03/01/2019
Name: Evan Ross

Subject: ~12″ HST, Loose Snow And Soft Slab Avalanches. Axtell
Aspect: North, East
Elevation: 9,500-11,500


The 12″ soft slabs triggered on easterly aspects and sluffing on northerly aspects were mostly in the D1.5 range. The two D2’s that were ski cut today where both on easterly aspects, with 12″ crowns and 20-40ft in width, accumulating volume as they ran far through steep terrain.

Weather: Great pulse of snow between about 9:30am and noon. During that same time westerly winds were transporting snow onto lee terrain feathers. The afternoon was quiet, snow turned off and winds eased in this location.

Snowpack: HST was sitting around 12″. This new snow was sluffing in the steep 40 degree terrain we traveled. There was very little to no propagation as a slab on northerly aspects where the new snow was sitting above some small NSF. The new snow was sitting on crusts on more easterly terrain, and here ski cuts produced soft slabs at the interface generally up to 20ft in with.

The terrain we traveled included the near treeline elevation and lee aspects. There was some wind loading but this area was generally sheltered from the active wind-loading out there today.


Easterly Aspect at 11,400ft. Ski cut triggered 12″ soft slab running on the 2/28 crust.