17 Apr 2013

Slide on Snowspider from April 14, 2013. Description below: Thanks to Sam Yeaman for the shots.

Hi Wayne,

We were out around snowspider this past weekend and got a few pictures of this slide that released on a couple of skiers that were heading for the peak on Sunday morning (April 14th). We didn't see it happen, so this account is based on second-hand information from others who spoke to the couple. Apparently they were boot packing up the rocky knob and triggered an avalanche above them, in the rocky start zone at the top of the knob. They were carried down and deposited on the shoulder above the large fracture line (the red line approximates their path). The slide propagated and stepped down, running over the cliffs and setting off other slides below. They were a bit banged up but able to ski out on their own, and lucky to have avoided a much more serious ride over the cliffs.

Unfortunately, I didn't get up to look at the fractures and bed surfaces, but it looked like all the snow from the past week slid on the previous melt-freeze/sun crust, although it may have started at the top of the knob with just the most recent 15 cm that fell since Friday. In most areas, we found the snow to be quite stable, but on wind-exposed ridge lines we were able to get some fracturing and slab movement by stomping on small convex rolls. Nice powder on North and East facing aspects.


First light yesterday morning, lots of blue!!

By 11:00 Hrs the clouds were moving in. 

At 2240 meters the temperature was -8, winds were 20-30 KPH from the SSE. At 1650 meters the temperature was -2, no new snow was reported over night. In the valley it was 0. Observations taken at 06:00 Hrs this AM. 

For the forecast unsettled conditions will prevail for the next few days, a weak dry front will bring a gray bird day today, a weak disturbance will arrive this evening with light precipitation. A weak dirty ridge will be south of us giving unsettled conditions with the occasional break from the series of weak  warm fronts approaching our area in a a North West flow. Freezing levels will remain around 1600 meters with some fluctuation of a few hundred meters, Friday afternoon could see the Fl reach 1850 meters. After the weekend we could see sunny skies with freezing levels exceeding 2000 meters. Guesstimates: 1-2 cm by Thursday morning, 1-3 cm by Friday morning, trace by Saturday morning, 1-3 by Sunday morning. 

For the local updated avalanche hazard: Blackcomb Snow Safety

Breckenridge, Vail to reopen after snowstorm: 9News.com

Wingsuit cave flight, unbelievable accuracy: Alexander Polli

AspenSki Co warns uphillers that Ski Areas won't be patrolled: Aspen Times

Hiker's describe rescuing dog after owner buried in Avalanche: King 5.com

Avalanche in Dalvik injures skier: Iceland

Daily avalanche reports for Scottish mountains wound up: Liverpool.wired

Later in the afternoon there were snow flurries in the corridor.

Debris from last week in Roe Creek.

Thanks to Mikey Nixon for submitting these photos and observations: Observations below Photos

Hey Wayne,

Our crew kicked off a decent slide today and we thought it might be worth passing on some beta and some images...

I'm calling it the North Face of Taylor's Sub peak, but it might have some other name. Either way, it's the nice-looking ribbed one that deposits you just on the backside of the entrance to Heartstrings.

Anyways, it was triggered by the third rider on the slope....first two riders experienced significant sluffing but nothing else.

Snow was amazing. Really cold, really deep, and unconsolidated enough that we had our guard down.

It popped on Jon in a gully between ribs and propagated about 50-75 feet across the protruding rib that Mie and I had just ridden.

It ran super fast, surprisingly so....maybe 250 metres total, well onto the flats.

We definitely didn't feel any crust at that elevation (2200 according to Jon's watch)....like i said, the snow was epic......so maybe it was on a surface hoar layer?

Not sure, we didn't really stick around and investigate.

None of us were involved.

There was an old fracture line that on further inspection looked like it may have been triggered by a previous group (24 hours earlier at least). Probably should have listened to that sign more than we did, but here we are.

The weird thing was that our fracture line kinda zippered across the rib and connected with the old fracture line, almost seamlessly.

(You can see the old fracture line on the attached photo with tracks in it, and Mie shredding the rib on the rib).

Slide was triggered in the gully on the Lookers' Left of our tracks.

Anyways, that's everything that comes to mind for now. Sorry it's not more tech, but I hope it helps...

Thanks Wayne....everyone on our crew today appreciates your blog,

Mikey Nixon

Thanks to Ivan Dewolf for forwarding this image:

Maroon Bowl slid, my friend Megan Harvey snapped this photo by T-Lazy 7 ranch, she said 25 feet deep in the creek...

Maroon Bowl starts near the ridge off of Loge peak at the top of Aspen Highlands, not inbounds.

-Ivan DeWolf

Cornices are very large, the next warm cycle will likely see some collapsing.

Grizzly lake was a busy place yesterday.

Satellite picture is showing some clear skies for last night.

Lots of cloud out in the Pacific.