telemark skiingbackcountry skiingPacific NorthwestWashington and Oregonweather linksThe Yuki AwardsMt. Rainier and Mt. Adams
Turns All Year
www.turns-all-year.com
  Help | Search | Login | Register
Turns All Year Trip Reports
Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
05/25/19, 11:39 PM

Become a TAY Sponsor!
 
Trip Reports Sponsor
Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
Turns All Year Trip Reports
(1) Viewing these pages constitutes your acceptance of the Terms of Use.
(2) Disclaimer: the accuracy of information here is unknown, use at your own risk.
(3) Trip Report monthly boards: only actual trip report starts a new thread.
(4) Keep it civil and constructive - that is the norm here.
 
FOAC Snow
Info Exchange


NWAC Avalanche
Forecast
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2007 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  December 2007 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
:
« previous next »
Pages: [1] | Go Down Print
Author Topic: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07  (Read 11509 times)
Stugie
Member
Offline

Posts: 926


WWW
Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« on: 12/21/07, 03:03 PM »

Thursday (yesterday) Dave (non-TAYer), snoslut, and myself decided to hit the pow.  Being fully aware of the high avalanche danger rating, we decided to test a low-angle slope first, staying cautious.  This short vid shows our pit test, finger test, shovel shear test, and rustchblock test.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8TVMJZd5EA
Logged

"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
JCK
5Member
Offline

Posts: 48


Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #1 on: 12/21/07, 03:31 PM »

Nice video work fellas.  Did you head back for the car, or find some low angle slopes to ski & if yes, how was it?

Hyak far exceeded my expectations yesterday.  I expected exercise & cruddy skiing, but the snow was pretty darn good.
Logged
Marcus
Administrator
Offline

Posts: 2434


WWW
Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #2 on: 12/21/07, 03:48 PM »

Wonga -- thanks for the info.  I'd love to see how quick that went on something in the typical slide steepness. 
Logged
Stugie
Member
Offline

Posts: 926


WWW
Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #3 on: 12/21/07, 04:27 PM »

JCK - I wanted to hit up Mt. Catherine yesterday, got any info on that?  Glad to hear it was good near Hyak...we actually found a slope with a similar aspect at about 30 degrees and heavily treed.  After running a few tests, it seemed stable enough to try and thank God we did...snoslut will post a TR on that later I think...i just wanted to get the avy info out there.

Marcus - Although that was a more open 20 degree slope, we managed to safely ski an adjacent 30-34 degree slope.  Judging from our findings, I think that had we gotton onto a more open face, our weight alone would have triggered something...most likely something big.

As a sidenote, the cold, dry snow that we had helped cut back on some of the loading.  Some crossloading could be seen on adjacent slopes and one can only speculate at what a leeward slope was like.  One that snow becomes heavier, it's only a matter of when it'll go.  While we were out, we measured an additional 4-6" of the good stuff that fell...
Logged

"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
rapskallion
1Member
Offline

Posts: 4


Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #4 on: 12/21/07, 06:00 PM »

What's up Stugie-this is david garcia.  i am on this site just not high profilin' like the Slut.  great  riding with you.  see you soon.  btw, i wrote up a little report on yesterday's tests on splitboard.com and i'm going to post a link to the vid
Logged
Stugie
Member
Offline

Posts: 926


WWW
Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #5 on: 12/21/07, 07:12 PM »

Right on bro!  Yeah, great riding with you too!  We'll do it again soon!  Thanks too for being one of few people I know willing to take extra safety  measures...Wink
Logged

"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
JCK
5Member
Offline

Posts: 48


Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #6 on: 12/21/07, 07:21 PM »

Stugie -

I think the emotion captured by "thank god we did" says it all, no need for a TR & photos that will just make me envious.  I have no info about Mt. Catherine.  The snow was noticeably nicer at the top of Hyak, so I would assume that it could only get better higher up. 
Logged
khyak
Member
Offline

Posts: 174


Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #7 on: 12/22/07, 05:31 PM »

Sweet video, thanks.  For the column test, you cut the backside of the column, right?  Just asking, as I was surprised you didn't get more of a failure.  This is totally picky, and its been a while since I took an avy course,  but when you tap the shovel blade, don't you start hitting it using just your wrist, then from the elbow, and finally the full arm.  The collapse on the RB seemed to not be on a distinct layer.  It kinda looked like all the fresh snow just spilled out from the skier weight?  Or was it down to the rain layer?  Any expert comments out there?  Gary? 

Googled this excellent site on digging a pit: http://www.avalanche.org/~uac/encyclopedia/snowpit.htm
« Last Edit: 12/22/07, 10:27 PM by khyak » Logged
Stugie
Member
Offline

Posts: 926


WWW
Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #8 on: 12/22/07, 11:12 PM »

The column was cut in back, but we had to use our shovel blade and cut it from the side, so the cut wasn't too thorough.  The back of the RB was also cut, with a ski pole though.  The collapse of both tests was right at the old hoar frost, but yeah, you're right, the whole RB glided forward, collapsing most of the snow...

As for the tapping bit, I honestly don't know.  I was taught to hit it gradually harder.  Then when conducting the shear test, I was taught to insert blade and then pull forward with both hands (we only used one though) and steadily apply pressure.  However in the vid, we did a bit of jerky pulls...sorry.  Never taken av 1.  Just doing as a few "older guys" taught me. Wink  As the vid says, we're not experts, just trying to take some extra precautions.
Logged

"The mountains are not stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals; the houses where I practice my religion." - Anatoli Boukreev
Pete A
Member
Offline

Posts: 849


WWW
Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #9 on: 12/23/07, 05:45 AM »

column tap test how-to instructions:
http://www.avalanche.org/~nac/slideguide/new_slides/compression.html

typically if one wants a test result that will provide a 'number' to assign to the snowpack, ya start with 10 taps from the wrist, then 10 from the elbow, then 10 from the shoulder.    Also best to do this on a slope that is the prime angle ( try to find a small steeper area, upper 30's, amongst the lower angle terrain that you are choosing as a skinning path) and the aspect/elevation you want to ski.   

Since the column tap test is checking a smaller area of snow than a RB, it is possible to get irregular results....fortunately since they are quick to do, its easy to dig more than one when evaluating a slope.

« Last Edit: 12/23/07, 05:56 AM by Pete A » Logged
loom
5Member
Offline

Posts: 33


Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #10 on: 12/23/07, 10:33 AM »

We toured out to Mt Catherine yesterday Sat 12/22, Tophervw and I. Considering the high avy warnings, we had no goal to actually ride much downhill, our only idea was to head out for some exercise and dig a pit to study conditions for ourselves. We'll post a TR later, probably over on splitboard.com and link back to it here. Short summary: dug pit 300 vft above the road at 4000 ft on 33* South aspect Mt Catherine gladed area, tested columns and rutsch. Failures on weak layers 18 inches and 3.5 ft (rain crust) down were found only after heavy pounding from the shoulder and 3-4 jumps on the rutsch. We decided it was worthy of a couple of laps that turned out to be very nice. Nothing moved on us even though we started with gingerly turns and proceeded to enter-white-room heavy turns.
« Last Edit: 12/23/07, 10:55 AM by loom » Logged
loom
5Member
Offline

Posts: 33


Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #11 on: 12/23/07, 10:53 AM »

PS - Most TAY'ers will assume this, but considering the tone of some posts recently: I do not mean my last post to sound like a recommendation or endorsement for anyone to be out in the BC right now considering current conditions. Just reporting info we found at this single location since you inquired about Mt Catherine in particular.
Logged
~Link~
Member
Offline

Posts: 290


Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #12 on: 01/11/08, 10:59 PM »

Great information!  Does anyone know of any organizations that offer decent avy courses?

Thanks
Logged
jpLingo
5Member
Offline

Posts: 43


WWW
Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #13 on: 01/21/08, 12:26 PM »

There are a number of places to take avy classes.  I took the Gary Brill level one and was quite pleased.  Gary is very knowledgeable and is also member on TAY

http://www.geocities.com/garyabrill/avalanche.html

There are also a number of other places to check out.  It is a matter of taste for the instructor and time. 
http://www.wacweb.org/Classes/backcountryclass/default.view
http://www.mountainmadness.com/schools/schl_nw4.cfm

I advise picking up a copy of Snow Sense it will give a good preliminary to the class but don't count on that alone.  The feild days in classes are very informative. 
 
Logged
RogerJ
5Member
Offline

Posts: 30


Re: Avalanche Field Tests - Crystal BC - 12.20.07
« Reply #14 on: 01/25/08, 11:27 AM »

I just completed Avy level II from Mountain Madness. I highly recommend this organization. I also highy recommend Avy II for anyone spending a lot of time out in the snow.

-r
Logged
Pages: [1] | Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Login with username, password and session length

Thank you to our sponsors!
click to visit our sponsor: Feathered Friends
Feathered Friends
click to visit our sponsor: Marmot Mountain Works
Marmot Mountain Works
click to visit our sponsor: Second Ascent
Second Ascent
click to visit our sponsor: American Alpine Institute
American Alpine Institute
click to visit our sponsor: Pro Guiding Service
Pro Guiding Service
Contact turns-all-year.com

Turns All Year Trip Reports ©2001-2010 Turns All Year LLC. All Rights Reserved

The opinions expressed in posts are those of the poster and do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of Trip Reports administrators or Turns All Year LLC


Turns All Year Trip Reports | Powered by SMF 1.0.6.
© 2001-2005, Lewis Media. All Rights Reserved.