Observation Date: 03/04/2014
Touring above Downing Mountain Lodge in the central Bitterroot.
Warm with periods of strong sun in the morning. Snow squalls started to develop as the day went on. Snow line today was 5000′. Rain line from Monday seemed to be at 6000′ with about 10″ of heavy wet snow above.
Wind loading was evident form the last few days, although only a moderate SW breeze today.
New Snow: 6-12″
Multiple crown and debris via natural slides noticed today. Part of the main east facing avalanche chute on Downing Mountain slid at the starting zone seemed to have run about 800′ (R2/D1.5) 12″ crown. More crown noted on a wind loaded north aspect, 20″+ crowns. Both of these avalanches occurred naturally on Monday.
Guests reported stability tests showing low strength of the 12″ new storm snow followed by an intentionally triggered avalanche today. This avalanche occurred on a 38 degree wind loaded north aspect at 8000′. The debris did not carry far although the crown propagated wide.
Noticed 4 separate crown / debris fields from the last two days.
Observer: Blake Votilla