Buff Pass: SPC training & Cat Scratch slide

Date

12/31/2020

Location

Day #

21

Ski Partners

SPC BST crew

Route

Snowmobiled as a group from Dry Lake to upper Bitch Creek via the Aspen Bowl area, Pizza Drop, and a detour in the meadows above Grouse to practice building emergency shelters.

Weather

HSN24

0"

HSN48

0"

Precip

Nil

Sky

Mostly cloudy

Winds

Calm

Temps

15-20F

Ski Pen

25cm

Foot Pen

100cm

Weather Forecast

Mostly cloudy, calm, with temp ranging 15F at 9am at the Dry Lake trailhead to low 20’s at mid-day around 9500′

Avalanche Forecast

Rating

3,3,2

Hazard

Persistent Slab on NW-SE NTL&ATL likely, small to large in size.

Slopes steeper than around 30 degrees facing north through east to southeast are the most likely places to trigger an avalanche. Higher elevation slopes have a thicker slab and will be more dangerous. Even outside of obvious avalanche start zones, you can trigger large avalanches from low on a slope, or from a distance away. Many will break near the ground, entraining most of the snowpack.

Snowpack Observations

Generally less than 1m of depth, with approx. 35cm of new snow from the past 2 storm cycles and a mid-pack capable of supporting the weight of a skier. The lower-pack is weak and faceted. Multiple persistent weak layers are present throughout, including buried surface hoar and facets.

Noted multiple large collapses and were told by Jeffery of some recent avalanche activity – apparently Jeffrey’s group remotely triggered a slide in Bitch creek a couple days ago (Diamond face, again?).

Today our group remotely triggered a 2′ slab (approx. 100′ x 300′) while standing on the flats above the slope. The slide broke at the basal facet interface and ran to valley bottom.

Photos

Click to enlarge

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