Small avalanche on Basin Mountain

AVALANCHE OBSERVATION
Basin Mountain

Drainage:

Submission Info
Sean O'Rourke
Sunday, March 24, 2019 - 12:00pm
Red Flags: 
Recent avalanche activity
Avalanche Type: 
Slab
Slope: 
45degrees
Trigger type: 
Skier
Crown Height: 
Less than 1 ft
Aspect: 
Southeast
Weak Layer: 
Storm Snow
Avalanche Width: 
30ft.
Terrain: 
Above Treeline
Elevation: 
12 700ft.
Bed Surface: 
Unknown
More detailed information about the avalanche: 

 

I skinned up Basin this morning from snowline on the Buttermilk Road around 6800'.  The hard crust on the lower slopes in the morning made me wish I had ski crampons, but was pleasantly skiable on the way down aorund 12:15.  The upper basin was a mixture of powder and windboard, some of which was good skiing.

Rather than finishing the standard NE-facing slope to the notch, I booted partway up a SE-facing couloir branching off a couple hundred feet below.  Conditions were a bit unnerving, with 15-20cm of heavy new snow (probably transported by yesterday afternoon's winds) on top of a layer hard enough to offer very little boot penetration.  I struggled upward a bit, then stomped out a platform and transitioned just before noon.  A ski cut set off the small slab avalanche pictured here.  For whatever reason, only the top 5cm or so gave way rather than the whole 20cm above the old hard layer.

Avalanche Photos: 
Cloud Cover: 
Clear
Wind Speed: 
Calm
Air temperature trend: 
Warming
Basin Mountain 37° 17' 48.2244" N, 118° 39' 26.2116" W
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