BC Zone Observation Report
Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 12:00 AM
Northern San Juan
Northern San Juan
Couloir is facing Northwest, 35-50 degrees.
Location: Molas Pass Aspect: Northwest Elevation: bottom of col. starts at about 12000' Sunny Day, previous few days had been sunny with some minuscule dustings during the night. forecast said it had gotten down to 34 degrees F the night prier to attempt. 2 weeks prier there was 12" of new snow and high winds with lots of wind slab, we actually bailed on the same route for avalanche conditions being high. We made it into the col. did a quick assessment and deemed to unsafe and planned coming back in 2 weeks, which we did. This route is currently getting direct sunlight down the entire col. at about noon.
Location: Molas Pass, Snowden Peak Aspect Northwest Elevation 12000' Freeze thaw conditions with very icy hard corn snow within the couloir. On Western edge of col. there was a layer with large grain corn/ice balls that where kind of loose about 4'' down however it was difficult to kick steps down to this layer on the way up. There was a strange breakable crust at the top of the col. that we opted not to ski for safety reasons which came down the col. about 50'. We opted not to wait for the sun to hit the couloir. to soften as this might increase chances of instability even though there was a lot of frozen cookies on the snow surface. We left trailhead at 0720 and made summit by 0930 dropped col. at about 1000
On the way in we noted that there where a few wet slides from previous days on North faces on Red mountain pass and near Ophir Pass. This is when we made the discussion not to wait for the sun do hit the col. because it would put put out to about noon for the drop in. Also on the way up the col. there was 1 small rock that fell (golf ball size). On the way down there was two small rocks that fell (baseball sized). There was no other activity noted.
Rock fall caused avalanche in Naked Lady Couloir on Snowden Peak, with two skiers narrowly escaping destruction by rocks and snow. 5/13/17