Hunter Creek

CBACCBAC Observations

Date of Observation: 02/27/2023
Name: Ben Pritchett and Eric Murrow

Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: Hunter Creek

Observed avalanche activity: No
Snowpack: The snowpack easily supported the weight of our sleds on most features, on many aspects and elevations. The only places we found a mostly weak snowpack were a) below 9,500′ in the valley bottom, b) a very shallow wind-swept spot on a ridge where we punched through the surface slab, c) and odd patches of weak snow near trees or creeks.
We could not find full-depth faceted areas like what has been reported on the steep-walled valleys on the north side of the Elk Mountains.
We found 140-160cm of snow at valley bottom in middle Cement Creek at 10,200′; 170-190cm near treeline; and up to 300cm in alpine features with cross-loading.
The layer of facets buried around Valentines lurked around 30 to 40cm deep, generally 4-finger stiff. Only where we targeted a shallow-depth south-facing spot did we elicit a hard propagating test result. Otherwise tests did not propagate. We experienced no collapsing or cracking. The slab on this upper-snowpack weak layer was 1-finger to pencil hard in wind-drifted areas, and 4-finger hard in wind-sheltered spots.