Wet Soft Slabs on S-SSE Aspects

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Location Name: 
Snowshoe Couloir
Region: 
Long Canyon Area
Date and time of avalanche (best estimate if unknown): 
Thu, 01/19/2017 - 11:56
Location Map: 
United States
36° 36' 3.186" N, 105° 26' 39.2244" W
US


Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Rapid warming
Obvious avalanche path
Terrain Trap

Observation made by: Public
Avalanche Observations
Avalanche Type: 
Loose/Point-Release
Slope: 
38degrees
Trigger type: 
Natural
Crown Height: 
Less than 1 ft
Aspect: 
Southeast
Weak Layer: 
Old Snow
Avalanche Width: 
45ft.
Terrain: 
Below Treeline
Elevation: 
10 200ft.
Bed Surface: 
Old Snow
Avalanche Length: 
400ft.
Number of similar avalanches: 
5-10
More detailed information about the avalanche: 

This slide looked to have released early Thursday morning, likely triggered by snow sluffing from the cliffs above after the clouds cleared and the sun began warming the southerly aspects.  It was a soft slab consisting of the most recent storm snow, bed surface was a smooth frozen knife hard sun crust.  R1D2; small in scale yet picked up all loose snow within its path, debris was piled up to 4 feet deep above and around trees.  A couple hours after encountering the one described, we were able to intiate several similar loose wet slides including a couple that ran the entire length of the couloir and a ways down the runout aprons, expanding as they exited the narrows.  Temps had warmed during our ascent and were in the upper 30s when we descended at about 1:30.  Light wind at times from the southwest, otherwise mostly calm.

 

Avalanche Photos: 
Weather Observations
Cloud Cover: 
25% of the sky covered by clouds
Air temperature: 
Above Freezing
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Wind Direction: 
Southwest