Front Range – Ptarmigan
Obvious signs of instability:
- Wind loading from moderate easterly wind
- Small, D1 human triggered avalanche
- Cloudy to obscured skies with temps in the 20s, moderate easterly wind, and intermittent light snow
- Melt-freeze conditions below ~2750′
- Fresh, wind-affected snow above ~2750′ ranging from firm, supportable, wind slab to carve-able wind-packed powder to relatively loose, slightly wind buffed powder that sluffed off steep terrain
Ptarmigan West face snowpit at ~4250′, WSW aspect, ~35 degree slope, ECTX (handpits with column tests to ~4750′ revealed faceted layer in top ~2′ of snowpack that required moderate force to release). Small, D1 human triggered avalanche on cross-loaded terrain feature NW aspect ~4000′.