31 Mar 2012

Large climax slide off Wedge, May 1969.  Thanks to Cliff Jennings for submitting history.


Wayne,
Finally found the image. Taken in May of 1969. The helicopter pilot went through Wedge Pass in late September & still saw a huge pile of snow & trees in the creek bed at about 1300 meters. The slides started at over 2300 meters, so ran about 1000 vertical meters.
Cliff


As of 06:00 the temperature at 2280 m was - 12, winds were 15-30 KPH from the NNE. At 1550 meters the temperature was - 9, 93 % relative humidity and the barometer is dropping. At that elevation 8 cm of new snow was recorded. at pig alley 6 cm was recorded. Int he valley it is -2. 


In the corridor yesterday avalanche occurrences were Xe, Xc, Sc, size 1-3, 20cm - 1 m crown lines. 


Snow is still in the forecast, looks like Sunday night will bring us another storm into Monday. 


For the latest Avalanche Advisory click her: Avalanche Advisory

Avalanche on Mt Rainier : Wilis Wall

Large rock and snow avalanche on Rainier: Nisqually Glacier

Article on Fees for Back country rescues: Rescue Costs



Another great day of powder skiing yesterday.


30 Mar 2012

Brandywine area last week, natural slide on wind loaded feature.               Erik Graham Photo

As of 06:00 hrs the temperature at 2280 meters was - 8, winds were 25-40 KPH from the S. At 1550 meters the temperature was - 4.5, 97 % relative humidity and the barometer was rising. 15 cm of new snow fell over night there and 15 cm at pig alley. In the valley it is -1.

Avalanche control yesterday produced size 1-2 soft slabs in the corridor.  Be wary of the February 8 Th interface, certainly would produce size 3 and with this new snow the interface from March 24 Th certainly has some size 2 potential.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Skier gets caught and sifted into the trees: Not a nice ride

Looks like the Kyber, hope they have the appropriate gear: Trees are not always a Safe Place

Duffy Lake conditions and observations: ACMG Blog


North Aspect of Duke taken on Monday. Submitted by Jeff Van Driel   Devin Montgomery Photos


Avalanche on Duke took out some trees


29 Mar 2012

Spring has sprung but there is still lots of powder skiing to be had!!

At 2280 meters the temperature as of 06:00 was - 7, winds were 70-100 KPH from the S. Max gust there last night was 120 KPH.  At 1550 meters the temperature was -3.5, 99% relative humidity and the barometer is on the rise after hitting the bottom. . 31 cm of new snow was recorded there and 27 cm was recorded at pig alley. In the valley it is 0.

The snow yesterday was very reactive, size 1-2 soft slabs easily triggered, 10-50 cm. Today will not be much different.

Not sure if the Whistler Peak weather station is 100% but it is saying 10-35 KPH from the S. The ridge weather station there at 2000 m is saying 50-95 KPH from the E, with max gust of 120 KPH.

For the updated avalanche advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Interesting presentation on skier and snowmobile pressure on the snow: Scott Thumlert

Ski cutting moist snow: Slow but heavy

Avalanche in the trees: Whistler

Map of the area with all the runs marked on it : Google 3D trail map

Yesterday 11:00 and still no tracks, Blackcomb Bowl looking very inviting. The skiing yesterday was amazing, not just because of the 25 cm but there were no crowds.

25 cm fell by 12:00 noon yesterday.

Ipsoot Area, 6500 Ft NE aspect taken last week, likely Feb 8 crust.          Erik Graham Photo

28 Mar 2012

Certainly will not be getting this view for a few days.

At 2280 meters the temperature is -6 as of 06:00 hrs. Winds were 50-70 KPH from the ESE. Max gusts last night were 96 KPH.  At 1550 meters the temperature was -2, 98 % relative humidity and the barometer is steady. 11 cm was recorded there and 10 cm was recorded at pig alley.  In the valley it is +3.
The freezing level is at 1300 m but it is snowing at 1100 m. Fl should drop and snow should reach the valley.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Avalanche hits base camp: Denali

High marking in Newfoundland: Wet Snow

Some great images from Grant Gunderson at Mt Baker: Grant Gunderson Photography

Lesser Ring Mountain


27 Mar 2012



Some approaching fronts are so well defined.

At 2280 meters the temperature as of 06:00 was -6, winds were 20-40 KPH from the ESE. At 1550 meters the temperature was - 3.5, 87 % relative humidity and the barometer is falling. A trace of new snow was recorded over night.  In the valley it is 0.

With the expected snow on its way it will make it interesting with a 5-10 cm MFC on solar aspects and a 2-10 cm pencil slab on other aspects.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

For an interesting read on why there has been more snow in the past few years: Arctic Ice

Some information on La Nina:

La Nina is rapidly weakening. The cold anomalies in the central tropical Pacific are rapidly declining and some parts of the tropical eastern Pacific are now warmer than normal.   Predictive models suggest that La Nina will be over by the end of April.
Good news for us, hopefully we will get some nice weather this summer. 





Surveillance video of avalanche crashing into a warehouse: Very Powerful


Avalanche footage from out East: Quebec









26 Mar 2012



Headwaters of the Fitzsimmons Creek is certainly a nice place to play.

At 2280 meters the temperature was -5 as of 06:00. Winds were 5-15 KPH from the ENE. At 1550 meters the temperature was -1, 80 relative humidity and the barometer is dropping. In the valley it is -2. No new snow to report over night.

For the latest Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Avalanche during competition at Squaw Valley: Squaw

Snowmobiler caught in an avalanche: Dan Treadway

Thanks to Dave Sarkany for sending these pictures in, some activity in the back country, March 25.

East aspect west of Birkenhead Lake

Sc at 2290 meters, near Callaghan Mt. NW aspect 30 deg slope 20-35 cm fx line

Thanks to Braden for this next photo, in coming clouds but everyone is having fun!!


Serac collapse Cheakamus Glacier, Braden Douglas Photos



 Size 3.5- North Aspect- Near Pemberton, Knocked down a bunch of large trees,ran full path. Probably ran in the last 5 days or so. Debris pile was probably 10m deep. Ran about 1200m.




25 Mar 2012




Even the Swans were enjoying the mountains today.


At 2280 meters the temperature was -7.5, winds were 15-25 KPH from the SE as 0f 06:00. At 1550 meters the temperature was -3.5, 85 % relative humidity, the barometer was steady. In the valley it was -3.








Daniels Valley in the Toba Inlet. 2 Large releases. Xc from slide in shadows sympathetic release in sun.
Thanks to Dary Hemmons for this shot.





24 Mar 2012

When the sun did come out yesterday it certainly warmed up quickly.


As of 06:00 the temperature at 2280 meters was - 9, winds were 10-30 KPH from the ESE. At 1550 meters the temperature was - 6, 71 % relative humidity and the barometer is trending down. In the valley it is -6. No new snow!

For the updated Avalanche Advisory: Avalanche Advisory

Fast moving Avalanche Footage from Colorado: Fast Moving

Interesting facts about Mts Blanc & The Matterhorn: Tall Mountains


Will be a busy week end in the back country. Read the article below and reflect on what your experience level is and how much risk you are willing to accept.

Factors Contributing To Recreational Avalanche IncidentsThere are a number of common mistakes that many backcountry recreationists make that put them at increased risk of being involved in an avalanche accident. These include:
  • Poor trip preparation
  • Lack of knowledge of recognizing avalanche terrain
  • Inability to assess snow stability
  • Unskilled backcountry search and rescue techniques
The basics of these skills, however, can be learned through avalanche awareness courses or by traveling with experienced people, and then refined over successive winters.
Other sources of information available to backcountry travelers can be found from many sources including the Internet, guidebooks, maps, information centers, and people who have been in the area.
Increasing Chances of Survival Through Risk AvoidanceAvoiding putting yourself at risk plays a large part in eliminating as many factors as possible that contribute to avalanche incidents. To this end, understanding the causes of being caught in an avalanche and anticipating them before and during the trip need to be considered. Steps that can be taken to do this include:
  • Designating a leader to help ensure effective decision-making
  • Putting people at front of pack who are skilled at assessing snow stability or selecting routes
  • Ensuring that “back in the pack” people don’t simply follow the track, but pay attention to the terrain or snowpack
  • Don’t fall into the “blue-sky” attitude that draws recreationists to upper slopes where unstable snow can remain days or weeks after a storm
  • Don’t focus on being goal oriented even after learning of unfavorable conditions such as rain, heavy snowfall, drifting snow, 0° C temperatures and poor visibility
  • Knowing when you are tired so that fatigue doesn’t cloud judgment and narrow the margin of safety
  • Recognizing that a sense of “it won’t happen to me” invincibility can be fatal
It is important that experienced members of a group assume the lead in determining where, when and if to proceed on a backcountry trip. Taking the opportunity to get together during the trip for important decisions on assessing snow stability, the route, and possibly changing weather conditions is always advisable. Sometimes a quiet voice asking, “But why do we think that slope is stable?” can prompt a careful re-assessment of the situation and lead to a sound decision. Also, involving less experienced people in route selection and stability assessment contributes to the experience of every person in the group that will pay off on subsequent trips.



From Dary Hemmons 4.5 Danialls 100yr cycle


A new meaning to clear cut. There is a lot of timber in that debris. 


Not sure if CARCA would help much here, Click here for : CARCA

23 Mar 2012

Its that time of the year, be wary of cornices breaking and solar aspects. With the nice weather and sunny skies forecasted for the weekend use caution out there!!

At 2280 meters the temperature was - 11 as of 06:00 hrs. The winds were 10-30 Kph from the SSE. At 1550 meters the temperature was -8, 88 % relative humidity and the barometer is rising. In the valley it is -4. 1 cm was recorded at pig alley 1 cm at cat skinner. Surface hoar has been growing for the past couple of days.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Here is a clip of a snow mobile related slide: Solar Aspects

Avalanche control in Switzerland : Helicopter Bombing

Nice shots of a slab avalanche breaking up: Beauty Shots

Latest up date on the Nelson Avalanche involvement: Nelson

International news from Afghanistan: 22 Fatalities


Not the place to traverse when it warms up and cornices fail! When you really look at this picture it is never a wise place to be period!!!!

Thanks to Claudia Schwab for these photos from Mt. Baker


Hi Wayne,
In case this is still of interest here are a couple of pictures taken yesterday of last week's Shuksan Arm avalanche (with 6 days new snow on it). Note the tracks on lookers right - apparently some people made 'good' use of the crown to get big air ?!
Cheers
Claudia


22 Mar 2012

Where too go next!! Beautiful British Columbia

It was nice to get the spring sunshine yesterday. Certainly is strong when it breaks out of the clouds. Which quickly became convective clouds.  At 2280 meters as of 06:00 the temperature was - 14, winds were 5-10 KPH from the South. At 1550 meters the temperature was -11, 89 % relative humidity and the barometer is still rising. In the valley it is -8. 1 cm was recorded at pig alley a trace at cat skinner.

Rumours of a 25 year old female falling off a cornice yesterday afternoon in the Piccolo area, she had to go to the clinic for attention. Hope to have more details later today. The cornices are very fragile, use caution and stay well back from them.

There has been 20 cm of settlement in the HS in the past few days.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory : Avalanche Advisory

Machine accidental but speed was his friend: Resting Slab

Snowmobile cuts out slab and is very lucky: Not fast enough

Another 2 avalanche related fatalities: Nelson B.C.

More information on Nelson incident: Nelson

This avalanche was estimated as a 3.5, 2 meter crown remotely skier triggered from 200 meters away.




A much different perspective, but still Beautiful British Columbia!!


Tony Sittlinger photo below skiing Surfs Up yesterday, looks like nice snow.

21 Mar 2012

Huge Airtime!!! We are in for some sunny weather soon, looks like Friday will be blue bird.


At 2280 meters the temperature is - 12 as of 06:00. The winds were 40-55 KPH from the South. At 1550 meters the temperature is -9, 85.5 % relative humidity and the barometer is  rising. In the valley it is -2. At pig alley 3 cm was recorded as of 05:30, and at catskiner 1 cm had fallen as of 06:00. Reports of pencil wind slab up to 40 cm on ridges and wind features.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Information about snow amounts at Mt Baker: La Nina delivers in March

Cornice cutting at Castle Peak: No Bombs

Interview with survivor of Haines Avalanche last week: Interview

Highway closed due to an avalanche: Coquihalla Closed

Jumbo Glacier finally gets approval: Jumbo

From Paul Austin: Wayne,

We were out Oboe/Cowboy way on Saturday and the large avalanche shown in the picture on your blog today was there then. 

Paul
Thanks to Nina Van Driel for the information.

The attached pic is rather grainy as taken from an iPhone but from the top of Oboe I saw a crown line lookers right of Cowboy Ridge above a gnarly cliff band - hard to judge the size, and you may have seen better footage already, but it seemed to be a natural as no tracks could be seen leading in, and below it fell away into some steep un-skiable terrain (not shown in this photo) that drains into Singing Creek. Would love to hear if you have any more info on that one - has anyone flown over it? 

We skied the Apostles today, in perfect pow after a lazy late start, and Singing Pass is also in great shape.

These images from Facebook, seems it went viral. Before and after a size 4 slide!!



20 Mar 2012

Mt Fee, untracked, a spectacular Stratovolcano, part of the Garabaldi Volcanic Belt.



At 2280 meters as of 06:00 it was -9, winds were 75-110 KPH from the South. At 1550 meters the temperature was -5, 96 % relative humidity, and the barometer is steady. In the valley it is 0. At pig alley 1650 meters the measured snowfall was 13, at catskiner weather plot 1550 meters 16 cm fell over night. The winds should remain strong for the am and the temperatures should drop also. What a day for the first day of spring 2012. Helicopter work on the Duffy yesterday produced up to size 3 avalanches, at WB a few soft slabs but nothing significant.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Snowboarder cuts slide out which runs into the ski area: Survived

For a clip on a 2 person involvement in New Zeland (bad words spoken) click here: Kiwi's

Avalanche control at  Mammoth Mountain: Hand Charges

Latest word on avalanche in Norway, 5 Fatalities March 19, 2012, click here: Norway



Please read from experienced ski tourer text below relating to this picture!!

With this bit of caution from local papers with the quote: "“If you are going to go out of bounds in these mountains you need to know what you are doing,”  I'd like to use this Sunday's Cowboy Ridge ski as an example.  At the outset, to my knowledge no one got hurt that day and no one triggered an avalanche.

Sunday March 18, 2012 was a busy day.  We counted possibly 15 groups in the Musical Bumps area.  We were among the first groups to ski out past Oboe and to Cowboy Ridge.   We set a good portion of the leftmost blue skin track in the picture which is in dense trees and away from downhill tracks.  We wanted to ski either one of the three middle lines of Cowboy Ridge (the lines are split by bands of trees).  A note on these lines.    They had been skied the day before so there was lots of downhill tracks on them.  There is a convex roll on a good portion of the middle lines so people skiing those lines have no way of knowing if there are other parties on those lines before dropping in.  

It was pretty much perfect skiing conditions.   Over 1m+ of storm snow had fallen.  Winds light, ski pen was about 20 - 30cms.  Temps were minus 8 to 10.  

Our party dropped in the slope where the "e" of Convex Roll starts.  As I crested the roll, I saw about 100m vertical below me two people skinning right up the slope traversing across it (I couldn't see them before I dropped in and immediately stopped).  I told them that my party was dropping in and at the same time radioed my party to stop till this group had cleared out.  I told them they were vulnerable to danger from people like me who couldn't see them and one said that they just followed the skin track.   

These two people cleared the skin track and my group dropped in on the centre of the slope.  I dropped in last and skied skiers right.  To my amazement (and horror) as I was skiing downhill (at a good rate of speed) at about the "l") in the "lemming" part of the wording on the picture there were five people on the skin track also going up the slope.  I avoided them by splitting the group and kept going downhill.   I had no opportunity to see this group and would not have skied that part of the slope if I knew there people on it.    I did not trigger any sluff release or avalanches on any of these people.

My point is that there are so many other safer ways to get to the top of Cowboy Ridge which do not expose people on the uphill to overhead hazard (ie either convexities or skiers going downhill).  For example, the skin track marked "good" on picture left is through dense trees, avoids potential downhill traffic and does not have convexities above the track.  The skin track marked "good" on picture right goes through low angle terrain.   Both the "good" tracks might add perhaps 5 to 10 minutes (at most) to time spent on the uphill over the "WTF" skin track

I've seen some stunning skin tracks in Whistler and the Duffey this year.   I urge people to think for themselves and not to simply follow tracks just because they're already there. I urge people to think about overhead hazard.  You spend the most time on the uphill and are therefore the most exposed on the uphill.  Use your head accordingly

19 Mar 2012



Looking into Garibaldi Park, has everyone filled in the Park Survey.  Bottom of this page.



At 2280 meters as of 06:00 it was - 15, winds were 20-30 KPH from the South. At 1550 meters the temperature was -12, 92 % relative humidity and the barometer is rising. 12 cm of new snow overnight at pig alley and cat skinner weather plot recorded 4 cm. The valley temperature is -4. Its incredible that a convective cloud sitting on Whistler can produce 3 times the amount of snow compared to Blackcomb 4 kilometres away and 100 meters lower.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

Skier buried in an avalanche at Mt Baker: Lucky guy

Heli bombing Stevens Pass April 2011: Helicopter Bombing

This picture is from last year but basically the same slide just bigger. 
An avalanche at Mt Baker closes the ski operations down March 15, click here for story: Mt Baker





Seeking your Input for the

Garibaldi Park Management Plan Amendment


The park is going to go through some changes potentially, everyone who uses it should fill in the survey before its closed. Please click here and make comments: Garibaldi Park Survey

18 Mar 2012

Should be another great day in the snow, Blackcomb dropped some cornices yesterday with no avalanches being triggered.

At 2280 meters the temperature was -13 as of 06:00. Winds were 25-35 KPH from the ESE. At 1550 meters the temperature was -9, 95 % relative humidity and the barometer is steady. 8 cm of new  was recorded overnight at pig alley while cat skinner weather plot was short changed with 2 cm.  In the valley it is -4.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

For some more avalanche control footage click here:  Peak Chair

Avalanche fatalities in Europe: Austria

Avalanche claims 4 in Iran: Hamedan Ski Resort

What a week, 206 centimetres of snowfall at the catskinner weather plot from March 9-16 Th.


Some Field observations from the Duffy:

Thanks to Mike Gigliotti

No ct results at steep creek near 1800 meters sheltered trees. Variable deep 80 to 110 cmc shovel sheer results.  Others selected the steep routes and had big smiles. We skied our tracks and the road back. Nice fluffy snow. -7 to - 10 C. 
Ps. BIG snow banks to the Joffre summit and less than 1 third on the east side.   
Cheers
Mike G






From Lee Lau


From area in W Cayoosh

~ 60cms HST at 1300m; 80cms HST at 1850m; 100cms HST @ 1950m.  Hand shears didn't reveal much on the climbing skin track (N aspect) but then that's a lot of new snow.

Kinda curious whether the pwkl that broke someones femur from a couple of weeks ago was still there so dug a hasty.  HS on ridge ~240cm; on SE aspect just off ridge ~340cms.

10cms fist,
buried MF crust (1cm),
10cms fist
40cms 4F+
80cms 1f  to pencil

20 down CTH25 RP.  SS 2 down 80 failure on surface hoar (5mm grains) - so the surf hoar is still there but not overly reactive.

Didn't bother with the N aspect slopes as the hasties and pole probes showed pretty much fist snow in the storm interface.  Skied E then NE slope laps.  E had 30cms boot pen, NE 60cms boot pen.  Snow was of the blower in your face variety.

Temps fluctuated between -1 to -7 all day in the zone we were skiing.   Light wind gusts from SE



17 Mar 2012

I am sure the snow was epic, avalanche control work Friday produced size 1 avalanches at WB. Use of single and double shots were used. A few isolated size 1.5's. 30 cm 1F-P slabs. Settlement for the week of fallen snow was 50% at 1550 meters.

As of 06:00 the temperature was -11 at 2280 m , winds were 15-20 KPH from the NNE. At 1550 the temperature was -8, 95 % relative humidity and the barometer is on a slight decline. Trace  of new snow was recorded at cat skinner weather plot and 1 cm at the pig alley weather plot. In the valley it is -2. The winds turned around at mid night, ranged from North to East and maxed out at 25-40 KPH.

For the updated Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

For a 11 minute clip on avalanche rescue practice at Jackson Hole click here: Avalanche Rescue

Keeping with this weeks theme, heli bombing at Fernie Alpine Resort: Blow it up

Spring time control work in Switzerland: Anzere

Most resorts are pretty keen on avalanche awareness: Sunshine

Some are like this snowman!!


An interesting shot of the Grizzly Lake Avalanche in motion!


This is from Wednesday, and the cornices haven't changed much in the past 48 hrs. It is sort of an odd image but it is an accurate representation of how big the cornices are getting. Thanks "Tony" for  this picture. Cornices are getting very big and temperature fluctuations will bring them to life. 




16 Mar 2012

It was dumping yesterday morning in the valley. It was also blowing hard in the Alpine!!

Here are some maximum winds recorded yesterday:

2280 m at 12:45 140 KPH 170 Deg SbE
1860 m at 12:45 88 KPH 179 Deg S
2000 m at 06:45 133 KPH 111 Deg ESE
1835 m at 11:15 105 KPH 165 Deg SbE
At 2280 meters the temperature was - 10 as of 06:00 hrs. The winds were 0-5 KPH from the South. At 1550 meters the temperature was -6, 97 % relative humidity, and the barometer is on a slight decline. 6 cm was recorded at Catskinner weather plot and there was 6 cm recorded at the pig alley weather plot. There was 20 % settlement in the new snow that fell in 24 hours.

For the latest Avalanche Advisory click here: Avalanche Advisory

One lucky snowmobiler out runs avalanche, click here: Lucky

Test firing a gasex system: Testing

Up date on Ghost Mountain Avalanche: Ghost Mountain

A few photos and some field observations from Rohr Ridge. Thanks to Jay Audenart for the information.


We were up there on March 8th in the afternoon, skinning up the ridge there is a point where you can first look into a NW facing chute and into "Stellar Bowl". Seeing a large amount of debris I originally thought the stellar bowl had ripped out as I have seen before (2009?). But upon getting in to ridge top found the stellar bowl line was intact (lots of wind loading and big terrain-trap wind lips - did not ski),  skirted around it to the small lake mid way in the bowl. Skied to the slide where crown was from 50 to 180 cm. Bullet hard bed surface underneath. Mid Feb layer? I suspect (and I think you can tell from the photos) it was a cornice failure that caused the slide. It was warm the previous days and have since read on the CAA  south coast bulletin of reported cornice failures from that period. I think the slide emphasized to me a pretty good "tipping point" example!

Martin Offerson Photos


Field observations vs Snow pack test: Which is best when? by Bruce Jamieson Takes a while to load and is about 5 minutes long. Worth the time. Click here: Field Observations vs Snow pack test
Thanks to Ryan Bougie for the link.




Garibaldi Park Management Plan Amendment



Just another reminder to fill in the Garabaldi Park survey, click here to go to page: Your input is important