6 to 15-Foot Deep Avalanche Near Crested Butte, CO Jan. 11th + 8 Other Avalanches Over Weekend:

SnowBrains | | AvalancheAvalanche
Mt. Owen, CO.  photo:  crested butte avalanche center
Mt. Owen, CO. photo: crested butte avalanche center

The Crested Butte, Colorado area experienced at least 9 avalanches over the weekend.  One of them was on Mt. Owen and the crown of the avalanche there was 6-15 feet deep making it an extremely large & powerful avalanche.

Moral of the story here:  The Crested Butte area of Colorado is very unstable right now.  Be very conservative out there.


1/11/14 Very destructive avalanche on Mt. Owen

East aspect above treeline.  Estimated failure 1/11/14.  2-3′ windslab (faintly visible in picture), stepped down to persistent slab. Estimated crown depth of 6 to 15 feet deep.  HS-N-R3-D3.5-O

1/11/14 Large persistent slab avalanche at Irwin

SE aspect above treeline.  Triggered 1/11/14 with a 2 lb. hand charge.  Average crown height 4-5 ft deep, 1500 ft wide.  Failed on facets above the Dec 31st crust.  SS-AE-R3-D2.5-O
Note skiers under the uppermost crown for scale
View of crown from rock that slide was initiated near.  Notice how the slab tapers to only a few inches near the rocky shallow point.  Once initated, the slab propagated widely on the melt-freeze crust/facet combo.  Width was estimated to be around 1500ft.
Crown that propagated as slide ran below cliffband.

1/11/14 Slab avalanche on Mineral Point

SE aspect above treeline.  SS-N-R2-D2-U.  Estimated failure 1/11

1/11/14 Skier triggered soft slabs in Happy Chutes

NE aspect below treeline.  SS-AS-R2-D1.5-U

1/11/14 Natural slab avalanche on Mt. Axtell

NE aspect above treeline.  SS-N-R2-D2.5-U

1/11/14 Windslab avalanches on Ruby Mountain

East aspect above treeline. Windslabs ~3ft deep. Estimated failures 1/10/14 or 1/11/14.  SS-N-R1-D2-U

1/11/14 Slab avalanches on Mt. Emmons

East aspect below treeline.  Estimated failure 1/10/14 or 1/11/14.  SS-N-R3-D2-U.

1/10/14 Natural soft slab on Kebler Pass

E/SE aspect below treeline.  SS-N-R2-D2-U

1/10/14 Skier triggered wind slabs on Irwin Tenure

6 slides larger than D1’s skier triggered at Irwin on West aspects near treeline. 14-24″ deep.   SS-ASc-R2-D1.5/2-I

Related Articles

Got an opinion? Let us know...