Detailed Observation

ObserverJeff Moskowitz

General Observations

Transitional Zone: 6000' NE-aspect on 40-degree slope ECTN results (no propagation) down 25cm and 45cm, snow felt contiguous above 5000' with melt-freeze below. Solar aspects were heating rapidly so time & place are increasingly important factors to consider in the mountains now. S-SE-aspects at 3500'-4000' were spitting rocks downslope as early as 8am and staying isothermal until 8pm. E-aspects 5000'-6000' had high consequence point releases with thin areas melting out quickly (think trigger points). On NW-aspect at 5500' skier triggered a micro slab mid-slope where a slight change in aspect, elevation and terrain features made for more than just a slough – this could be very dangerous in higher consequence terrain. Old avalanche crowns and debris piles were observed on almost every aspect at every elevation band from the prior warm up and rain-on-snow event that happened after March 18th. Some crown lines spanned entire mountains, others had low angle starting zones with debris piles that ran for huge distances. TRAVEL WISELY – Use early morning and late evening – watch temperatures – probe for strong over weak layering – look out for warm slopes above you – and stay away from a bottomless wet snow at all costs. 

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