Washington Gulch/Gothic

CB Avalanche Center2015-16 Observations

Location: Kebler Pass Area
Date of Observation: 12/27/2015
Name: Donny Roth
Subject: Washington Gulch/Gothic
Aspect: South West
Elevation: 9,500’-10,750′

Weather: 0945 @ 9500; Clear, Calm, -3ºC; Surf: V
1100 @ 9800’; Clear, Calm, -3ºC; Surf: V; HS: 100cm; SkiPen: 10cm; BootPen: 60cm
1215 @ 10,300′; Clear, Calm, -6ºC; Surf: V; HS: 120cm; SkiPen: 10cm; BootPen: 50cm
1315 @ 10,700’; Clear, Calm, 0ºC; Surf: +; HS: 90cm; SkiPen: 10cm; BootPen: 40cm
1415 @ 9,700’; Clear, Calm, -4.5ºC; Surf: V; HS: 90cm; SkiPen: 10cm; BootPen: 70cm
Snowpack: Fewer whumpfs than yesterday; but the ones we got were massive – mostly confined to shady, low-angle pockets. Moderate hand shears on small slopes over 30º with failures anywhere from 20cm to 40cm down. Consistent skipen throughout the day and the slab seems to be gaining strength quickly. The surface snow around 10,500’ (SW) got warm enough to be called moist in the early afternoon, as the temp climbed above freezing and the sun was strong. A thin crust will form there. Didn’t observe any shooting cracks at any point during the day. We skied one, short, 32º slope and had no signs of instabilities.

I don’t like this snowpack right now. Last week’s snow seems to be gaining strength really quickly. Today was the second day in a row when I felt like I could feel the snow changing drastically as the day went on. But the skiing is getting a lot better. I think it would be easy to get a false sense of security right now. I plan on keeping my mindset at “assessment” for a few-more days at least and want to keep consequences at the front of my mind.