24 Dec 2011

Thanks to Darren Saul for contributing these images of a ski cut on the NE aspect of Vantage Peak in the Duffy Lake Region. The size 2 avalanche propagated from rock to rock, was 25 cm at the crown, the 30 by 50 meter slab ran about 300 meters.
Slab in motion
Shot of run out zone
Looking up the slide path
Toe of the avalanche. Forecasters have been talking about isolated wind slabs, here is a classic example. Luckily the party was very experienced, recognised the hazard and could perform an effective ski cut. Less experienced tourers may have been caught in the slide and with the amount of rocks evident in the slide path  it would not have been pretty.  As discussed in a previous post, once these pockets receive more load from the new snow arriving there will be many  more of these events. Click here for the updated hazard rating: Avalanche Danger Advisory
Finally, 11 cm of new over night and still falling (06:00 Hrs). freezing levels will rise through out the day and peak tonight to possibly 1700 meters. The freezing level will slowly drop back down tomorrow with continuing precipitation. The unwanted persistent high pressure ridge has finally succumbed to a zonal flow with the jet stream giving us some long overdue precipitation.