December 11

Bowman trail, Cabin run,


middle bowl, upper Alexander basin,


Millcreek road.

Elevations, slope angles and aspects

6400-9800', angles over 35°, north facing aspects.

Snow conditions

A few inches of snow at the trailhead increased to almost two feet in the upper bowls.

There was good coverage on the trail with only a coupla bare patches in sun exposed. Millcreek road was buff.

Surface hoar was found near water sources and in mid elevation hollows, none at upper elevations.

The largest crystals were along the road, beside the creek.


Recrystaillized-crust was the common theme at upper elevations.

A skiff to several inches of loose snow covering a crust which was also quite variable in depth.

Occasional annoying slip sliding where the crust was stout.

In Colorado the term used for the upper elevation snow would be "a little punchy".

Mid and lower elevations had some lingering soft and settled, supportable but shallow, especially at lower elevations.


Clear to partly cloudy skies, mild-moderate temperatures, light wind.

Avalanche activity

Limited to one observed sluff slide coming off the rock slabs in the Silver Bell area of main Porter


and a much smaller but similar sluff initiated with a ski cut in the middle bowl of Alexander basin.



Sluffing was the observed instability.

Weakest snow is at or near the surface.

Crusts continue slow deterioration as does weakening of the lower snowpack.

Future stability would be dependent on any significant new snow, wind and or warming on sun exposed.

Present scenario suggests widespread sluffing and or shallow fractures with additional load.