Observation Date: 02/13/2021
Up Bass Creek, breaking north from main trail into the basin below the Crags, ultimately ascending one of the northwest couloirs to the ridge top.
Lightly snowing, quite cold, with a notable absence of all wind.
New Snow: 12+”
As we ascended through the mid-elevation bowl, several collapsing convexities kept awareness high. Around 7,500′ a D/1.5 R/2 windslab avalanche came into view on the east facing aspect across from us. The slide appeared to have run a day or few before with light snow covering the crown and toe. The slab propagated approximately 150-200 feet across a steep upper section of the bowl which had loaded west-east. Additionally, numerous D1/R1 sluffs were evident running from the steep walls above.
Significant low and mid-elevation snow over the last storm cycle has transformed the area. From tours into the Bass Creek drainage two weeks ago, skiers now find a different world.
As evident by our observations, cross-loaded windslabs at upper elevations appears a primary concern for touring parties. Spatial variability, even within small tributary drainages remains high. Directly across from this slide, the mostly north aspect we ascended was deep, not loaded, and had condensed/bonded well enough to support a boot back (albeit with some requisite wallowing). As a result, critical thinking and vigilance about terrain choices and route selection remains imperative.
Observer: Graham Coppes