February 24, 2015

Observations – Canyon Road – Peaks 2 & 3

Obvious signs of instability:

  • Two small, skier-triggered D1 storm slabs (from ski cuts) in the rocks below top of Peak 3 at ~3950′ and 3800′ west aspect
  • D1.5 wet-wind slab avalanche, cross loaded west aspect of Peak 2 south gully ~3000′ that occurred sometime late Saturday or early Sunday (see photos below)
  • Cracking in wind loaded areas with deeper, denser (4F+ to 1F) snow
  • Cracking in thinner areas of the snowpack where crusts and persistent slabs are weaker
  • Low volume sluffing of loose snow in steep, sheltered areas


  • Partly sunny skies at ~3:30pm becoming overcast by 5:30
  • Light southeast wind (modest snow transport)
  • Temps in the mid 20s
  • No Precip

Surface conditions:

  • 1-3cm fresh, dry snow at the trailhead (only sticking to cold surfaces like the frozen road)
  • 3-10cm fresh, dry snow in non wind-affected areas above 2500′
  • Leeward deposition areas with deeper, denser wind slabs and drifts up to several feet thick
  • Upper elevation windward areas with old, hard, and crusty snow exposed


A look at conditions near where the Peak 3 trail meets the road:pk3 trail

Photos of the SS/WS-N-D1.5-R2 natural avalanche that occurred sometime late Saturday to early Sunday on a cross loaded west facing sidewall of the Peak 2 south gully (first two photos were sent in 2/23, second two photos are from 2/24):IMG_1411 IMG_1403pk2 natural 1pk2 natural 2

Photos of one of two ski cut triggered storm/wind slabs at ~3800′ in the rocks below the top of Peak 3 (SS-ASc-D1-R1-I), ~15′ wide with a max crown depth of ~5″:pk 3 cut ss 2 pk 3 cut ss 1

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