Columbine Drainage

Location Name: 
Columbine Drainage
Region: 
Red River Area
Date and time of observation: 
Tue, 12/31/2019 - 13:38
Location Map: 
United States
36° 37' 23.142" N, 105° 28' 27.5088" W
US


Red Flags: 
Obvious avalanche path

Observation made by: Forecaster
Snowpit Observations
More detailed information about the snowpack: 

Went for a tour up Long Canyon and back into Columbine Drainage to look at North facing slopes.  These slopes ran during the 11/30 avalanche cycle on the depth hoar from lingering October snow.  Found a shallower snowpack overall less than 1.5 m of snow on most slopes, with mostly a right side up snowpack with firmer rounded snow near the ground and 4 F to F hard snow on the surface. We did not observe any avalanches from the last storm on 12/28 on these north aspects. On our way up Long Canyon on the E and NE slopes, we observed some wind slab below ridgelines.  In a pit on a NE just above treeline we found weak basal facets in a shallow snowpack 140 cm that we were able to get to fail and propagate with moderate to hard force.  In deeper snowpacks 2 + meters of snow, we are finding a healing and strengthening (rounding) snowpack.

Photo 1: Columbine Drainage with the north facing slopes that ran earlier in the season during the 11/30 avalanche cycle.

Photo 2: Loose snow avalanche on a ENE aspect, starting in a shallow snowpack in the rocks mid path with wind slab above.

Photo 3:  A right side up snowpack with 1 F rounded snowpack with lower density snow on top. No significant results in this pit with stability tests.

Photo 4: NE aspect just above treeline with ECTP 20 on basal facets just below a knife hard slab from previous wind events.

Snowpack photos: 
Weather Observations
Blowing Snow: 
No
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Air temperature: 
Below Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Precipitation: 
None
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Northwest
Accumulation rate: 
None
More detailed information about the weather: 

Beautiful calm sunny day with a stark difference in temperatures when in the shade and in the sun.