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NWAC Avalanche
+  Turns All Year Trip Reports
|-+  2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| |-+  February 2013 Backcountry Trip Reports
| | |-+  Instability at Baker
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Author Topic: Instability at Baker  (Read 1760 times)

Posts: 68

Instability at Baker
« on: 02/18/13, 03:23 PM »

Went up the south slopes of herman this morning in moderate winds and observed shooting cracks and 2-6 inches of wind slabbed snow on top of crust. I Ski cut a northeast facing chute off of the ridge line at 5700 ft and only moved a small pocket. I skied carefully a little further down to where it opened up a lot more and a 6-8 inch crown propagated above me about 100 ft wide. It was easy to hip check and let it slide by me. It broke apart very quickly and didn't pick up much momentum before settling as soft shallow debris about 100 vertical ft below where the slope flattened.

Lower down (5300 ft) Pat intentionally cut the top of another NE facing chute and ended up sending a 12 in deep 30 ft wide slab down the chute. We opted out of skiing the bed surface due to remaining hangfire. when we skied back under said chute the slab Pat had pushed down triggered the whole apron about 6 inches deep and ran for a couple hundered feet.

All hand pits and movement slid on a layer a couple of inches (several inches on north faces) above the hard crust.

We didn't witness any natural activity but visibility was poor (could see across the way but not very well). We picked our lines with the expectation that they would move.

Stay safe out there
« Last Edit: 02/18/13, 06:14 PM by Eckels » Logged

Posts: 44

Re: Instability at Baker
« Reply #1 on: 02/18/13, 08:38 PM »

Dang, thanks for the heads up.

The mountains will always be there, the trick is to make sure you are too.
-Hervey Voge

Posts: 179

Re: Instability at Baker
« Reply #2 on: 02/18/13, 09:17 PM »

My party skied there this afternoon, we started out from the parking lot at 11am and reached a high point of 5700 ft a little after noon.  We headed up the S side of Herman and experienced the same conditions: chalky powder (1-3 inches) on top of a pretty solid crust.  We only experienced one area of any fracture propagation, at about 5000 feet on a south facing slope (believed to be very isolated to this one area); no other areas showed much propagation at all.   We skied S and SE slopes for four laps with nothing but sluffs due to the aforementioned snow on top of the hard crust.  Back at the parking lot at 4pm.  The visibility was never very good, and the best light was found at or below about 5000 feet.  It was snowing some fat flakes as we downed the customary post tour beer. 
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