Avalanche: Mt Watson

Observer Name
Michael Janulaitis
Observation Date
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Occurrence Date
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Occurence Time
Overnight

Region:

Location Name or Route
Mt.Watson
Elevation
11400
Aspect
East
Slope Angle
42
Trigger
Natural
Avalanche Type
Soft Slab
Avalanche Problem
Storm Slab
Weak Layer
New Snow/Old Snow Interface
Depth
12"
Width
250
Vertical
600
Comments

I headed up to Mt. Watson today to do some skiing.  The first mile of the road had about 4-6" of new snow otherwise it was pavement.  On the way back it was totally melted out.  I expect the plows will move the end of the road up a mile tomorrow.  Once up in the Mt. Watson area it was I was greeted with 8-10 of new snow in the fields below the towing peaks.  Since the south wind that accompanied the storm had loaded the north slopes, I decided to skin up to the north east facing couloir on Notch Mountain in hopes of ski cutting a slide.  I ski cut the loaded rollover at the top with no results.  I headed back down the south side for some safe south facing low angle skiing.  After a few laps the skies began to clear enough to get a better view of the wind loading on Mt. Watson.  To my delight, there was minimal wind loading.  However, I noticed this shallow but wide soft slab avalanche that occurred yesterday.  Judging by the length that it ran, it was a slow mover and given the shallow depth manageable if in a narrower line such as the one I skied.

Coordinates