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Thread: San Juan Snowpack Obs
12-06-2005, 12:58 PM #1
San Juan Snowpack Obs
I'm feeling very lonely reading all the obs, etc from the central and northern mtns so here is our very own thread. Lets try and keep from regurgitating info that is readily available via the caic. i'll try and give us a good start with a general state of the snowpack.
it sucks. total snow depths generally range from 0-200cm dependent on aspect and elevation with most areas trending towards the lower end of that range. i believe the snowstake at RMP summit currently reads about 100cm.
shallow early season snowpack has led to the widespread formation of well developed facets near the ground. in many areas recent new snows have fallen on near surface facets further complicating the picture. we seem to be in a classic early season "why do i live in colorado?" snowpack.
During the last week in the west san juans i have experienced widespread collapsing, shooting cracks, skier triggered slabs and skier remotely triggered slabs on elevations btwn 10,000 and 13,000'. Fracture propagation has been somewhat limited (<7m) though so has my exposure to any terrain where fractures might be inclined to propagate over long distances.
snowfall from this past weekend has settled somewhat, perhaps marginally decreasing sensitivity while at the same time improving the cohesion of surface slabs. the general trend seems to be a maddeningly incremental crawl towards higher hazard. i was praying that here on the south side of RMP recent snows would be enough to trigger widespread natural activity but so far it's been very limited.
there is excellent powder skiing to be had but minimizing exposure to avalanche terrain is currently of paramount importance.
i hope this thread goes well. let's all keep in mind that the opinions expressed here are just that, opinions. they are not gospel and their validity will frequently be dependent on an anonymous (and therefore potentially suspect) author. ideally this will be an educational experience for all involved so lets try to keep criticism constructive.
in the name of progress lets try and be metric. also i encourage everyone to contribute avalanche obs. please be specific with regard to general location, aspect, elevation, trigger and size (relative and destructive potential). Guidelines for reporting avalanche activity area available via the caic website.
pray for snow
12-12-2005, 04:45 PM #2
wow, i feel so lonely. i thought there might at least be a human or two in t-ride with a computer.
12-12-2005, 05:36 PM #3
Let's hope you d00ds get some s00n.Merde De Glace
01-02-2006, 07:16 PM #4
started my own bulletin board. we'll see if anyone else is interested. located at www.penumbraguides.com. follow the link to west san juan snowpack. pray for snow...
01-03-2006, 08:28 AM #5
Berthoud Pass is skiing fat. Come on Back up here for a while till it shapes up.
01-08-2006, 06:38 PM #6
I am in Durango. I was up at Red yesterday and pretty much agree with everything you said... also it's been super warm and I saw some avalanche activity on a couple of south and east facing slopes. But, CAIC did say there was some wet slide danger so that's not anything new, i guess. I just can't believe there are wet slides in January.