- Observer: Mike Cooperstein
- Organization: Forecaster, CAIC
I visited South Diamond Peak avalanche to gather detailed information about the avalanche that occurred on 12-24-2016. The original observation with some updated information from my trip today can be found here. http://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/obs/obs_report.php?obs_id=43721 The avalanche would be clasified as HS-U-R3-D2.5-G
- BC Zone: Front Range
- Area Description: South Diamond Peak, Cameron Pass, Roosevelt National Forest
- Route Description: Ascended from the parking lot south through the trees to the treeline. I skinned north to the edge of the debris and then started to climb on the bed surface toward the crown line. I was not able to reach the crown line, but I managed to traverse on the high bench across most of the face. I descended the south side of the bed surface and returned to the parking area through the trees.
- Ridgeline Wind Speed: 10-20 mph
- Ridgeline Wind Direction: W
- Wind Loading: Moderate
- Temperature: 15 F
- Sky Cover: Overcast
- Depth of Total Snow: 130 cm
- Most Significant Precip Rate: S-1 - < 1 cm/hr
- Weather Description: Overcast, cold and windy for most of the day. Very light snowfall until about 3pm. The skies began to clear around 4pm.
- Snowpack Description: In the alpine areas the snowpack is composed of a soft wind slab approximately 20cm thick over a stiff slab that ranges from 60cm to about 120cm thick. This hard slab rests over a 20cm layer of very weak faceted crystals on the ground. Near treeline, the snowpack is 130-150cm thick. The slab is thicker, the weak layers are buried much deeper and seem to be less reactive.
- Avalanche Description: A very large avalanche released on the south Diamond Peak at Cameron pass on 12-24-2016. The original observation is here. http://avalanche.state.co.us/caic/obs/obs_report.php?obs_id=43721 I was able to speak with a witness who watched the event occur and he stated that "The avalanche propagated from the north end of the peak to the south. There were tracks on the face from 12-23-2016 and other parties in the area, but I think a cornice fall caused the slide."