Observation: Summit

Location: Colorado Peak

Route & General Observations

Skied 2 laps below hemlock line (2400′) before moving up to the top of the ridge line (3700′) to ski an open chute. We dug two pits on the way up near the main line of the bowl, at 2900′ and 3500′. Results we similar in each. Probing while traversing out to the main line showed that the bowl had previously avalanched and the base 70+cm is hard frozen avalanche debris. Lateral sides of the chute did not have this hard base *and* also had significant cross loaded wind slabs built from north and south in the recent past. Steep rolls along the margins going into the chute felt firm and hollowish. We approached the chute via wind scoured low points in the ridge to avoid stepping on these slabs.
Wind of the day was from the East, going up the line, no active loading on the line we skied.

Weather & Snow Characteristics
Please provide details to help us determine the weather and snowpack during the time this observation took place.
Snow surface

Ridges blown clean to dirt. Hard, sometimes hollow~ish, wind board near ridges. 5-20cm of soft snow in wind protected areas.


Pit #1 @2900' (pit #2 at 3,500' was similar, except base below ~70cm was so hard even a probe couldn't get through it)
Two layers were identifiable in the snowpack at roughly 40 and 55cm down. They did not propagate.

31° slope
ESE aspect
Height of snow 135-150cm
Depth of pit 90cm

CT 3 in top fluff
CT 12 at 40cm down
CT 23 at 55cm down
ECTN 19 at 40cm

After ECT in both pits I tried levering the block off with my shovel. The handle dug through the block and the block broke apart, it did not release on either of layers with CT results, or on the interface with the frozen base.