Avalanche: Cascade Ridge

Observer Name
Joey Dempster
Observation Date
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Occurrence Date
Monday, February 24, 2014


Location Name or Route
Cascade Peak
Just a quick note after noticing the observation of an avalanche on Cascade. I saw the debris field that prompted the report, but I did not feel like the avalanche happened recently. It was indeed very large and notable, but I assumed it happened back in the big February cycle. To me, the debris shows no signs of being a recent large wet avalanche, such as large pieces of intact snow. It is perfectly flat, like skiing on a glacier, except that rocks and branches are melting out of it so it looks like tornado aftermath. Also, there is no evidence of where the avalanche came from. I walked up the deposition and the slide path all the way to the summit ridge without seeing any signs of large avalanches in the last couple of weeks, certainly no wet slabs of that magnitude. I've seen some very large wet avalanches down here, and I don't think they fan out large enough to create this kind of debris field. In my experience, they tend to channel and pile up deep. This avalanche had none of those hallmarks. I strongly believe that this avalanche occurred at least 2 months ago. The reason I bring it up is because I think things are very stable down here currently, and I think the the implication that this occurred last week gives the wrong impression. It is also interesting to me because I could certainly be wrong in my conclusions about it, and I'd like to know if I've missed something. So I'm curious if there is any more information from other sources about it. Perhaps the powder birds (it's at the bottom of one of their runs) or UDOT would have some insight about timing? I'm definitely open to being wrong about this, and would appreciate knowing if I am. A small geographic note about that observation: this avalanche is a couple of miles away from the Big Springs/Shingle Mill ridgeline. It is actually on the ridge that separates Big Springs from Bunnells, but the avalanche was completely contained in the Big Springs drainage (which is quite large and at that elevation is comprised of 4-5 (depending on how you count) separate basins. If you want some good pictures of a large destructive avalanche for a slide show, this is a pretty good one! The source and timing may be a mystery, but the destruction is legit! Forecaster note: I entered an occurrence date of February 24 just to pick a number in the past because our database requires an occurrence date. Thanks for the infor Joey.