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Author Topic: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass  (Read 3189 times)
silaswild
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February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« on: 02/24/13, 01:48 PM »

Light wind and light ice fog in the AM made a thin crust over the 16-24" soft snow of the past couple days. We skied north and east facing slopes 5400-4000' and found the softest snow in the shelter of old growth trees.   We heard about quite a skier triggered avalanche that occurred in a SE facing slope starting near the ridgecrest at 5400'.   Brisk winds yesterday were one likely contributor as was a small leap from the ridgetop cornice.


* jeff022413.jpg (162.96 KB, 1000x791 - viewed 1383 times.)

* guenther022413.jpg (129.73 KB, 589x800 - viewed 1389 times.)
« Last Edit: 02/25/13, 09:54 AM by silaswild » Logged
Mowgli
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Re: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« Reply #1 on: 02/25/13, 11:03 AM »

I can second the avalanche on Heather Ridge.  We were skinning up after our second run and found the party that triggered the slide.  Thankfully nobody got buried, but the trigger did tweak their knee.

Feb. 24th, 2013; around 11:30 a.m. on a E slope at ~38 degrees at 5300`.  The crown was 12-20 inches deep.  The slide was triggered at the top of the ridge on windloaded (medium hardness) slab a steep convex roll-over over a sun crust under reported moderate avalanche conditions.  The slide propagated ~100 feet from the top of the ridge and built momentum triggering other smaller slides that propagated tree to tree on  the mid-slope totaling around 150 ft crown.  The foot of the avalanche had about 2-3 feet of depth and traveled ~600 vertical feet.  Although the avalanche sounds bigger than this, I'd classify it at D2 and R3.

Outside this slide, my party felt conditions were largely solid and safe to ski.  We sent a number of cornices sliding to see if the snowpack had the energy to go, but we saw no indication.  We saw no slough avalanches, and pits gave safe contions.  This is just another example of micro-topographic spatial heterogeneity.

I just wanted to let all interested parties know.  I hope this is helpful, stay safe, and I'm glad nobody was buried or extensively injured.
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Scotsman
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Re: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« Reply #2 on: 02/25/13, 11:14 AM »

Wow...That's a lot of people in one skin track.
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zestysticks
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Re: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« Reply #3 on: 02/25/13, 12:33 PM »

Re: "micro-topographic spatial heterogeneity."

I just love it!
So sexy!
Never again will I say "localized variations in the snowpack."
I think that with a little thought a guy could use that line to find himself a hot girlfriend who rips.
Keep up the good work!


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Carp the Diem!
Chainsaw_Willie
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Re: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« Reply #4 on: 02/25/13, 12:58 PM »

I was the skier who triggered and subsequently got a ride in the avy on Heather Ridge.

I'm working on writing up what happened and will post it later today.  I'm looking forward to any/all discussion about this incident.

Is it best to post this sort of thing as a trip report, or should it be in the Weak Layers forum?
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Marcus
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Re: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« Reply #5 on: 02/25/13, 01:11 PM »

Glad you're all right Willie.

I'd post it in the Weak Layers forum, with a link to that post here in the TR.  Thanks for being willing to share it.
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flowing alpy
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Re: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« Reply #6 on: 02/25/13, 02:23 PM »

[quote author=Chainsaw_Willie link
I was the skier who triggered and subsequently got a ride in the avy on Heather Ridge.

any day skiing is better than work right will?

glad you are fine and look forward to your story.
b
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snoholic
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Re: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« Reply #7 on: 02/25/13, 06:56 PM »

Willie, no wonder you were as white as a ghost when you popped out of the PCT and hit the parking lot. I did not realize at the time the extent of what you went through. I'm glad your still walking, and wish I would have had a few shots of whisky lined up for ya at the "after party".

Zack
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kevino
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Re: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« Reply #8 on: 02/26/13, 06:09 AM »

Sorry to hear Will.  Glad you came out relatively unscathed.
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Chainsaw_Willie
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Re: February 24, 2013, Stevens Pass
« Reply #9 on: 02/26/13, 09:38 PM »

Thanks for the words of support.  I've posted an account of what happened in the Weak Layers forum.  Please read - I and my partners welcome any and all input no matter how critical as long as the intent is to educate.

http://www.turns-all-year.com/skiing_snowboarding/trip_reports/index.php?topic=27691.msg116394#msg116394
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